The BBC is facing industrial action after rejecting a 6% pay deal.
Last week, the broadcasting giant told unions it would not bow to their demand to increase pay by £1,800 for each employee – which would cost an estimated £50m.
Mike Goodie, the BBC’s employee relations director, said the BBC is aiming to push through cost savings of 3% per year, after agreeing to save £1.7bn by 2013 under the terms of the last licence fee settlement.
But the move is likely to worsen industrial relations at the firm. The National Union of Journalists is already balloting members across the BBC about industrial action over separate plans to make 17 staff redundant in Scotland.
In a letter to unions last week, Goodie said: “Given the current economic climate, there is a need to be very realistic about pay. Any pay award at the BBC would have to be modest, and we believe that the limited money available should benefit the lowest paid.”
The corporation rejected the claim, submitted on 29 January, stating the rise would be difficult to justify to licence fee payers in the current economic climate, and insisting if it was implemented job cuts would follow.