The head of BBC Technology has played down staff threats to blank TV screens during the opening of the Olympic Games in protest at the corporation's £2bn plan to sell off its technology arm.
BBC head of technology John Varney talked down the likely impact of strike action by broadcasting union Bectu planned for later this month and the opening weekend of the Olympic games in August.
He said: "We expect the impact [of any strike] to be slight. This is not long, protracted industrial action. These are pieces of short industrial action."
The strikes will take place on 30/31 July and 13/14 August. Varney said that continuity plans and a "whole set of measures" were in place to prevent blank screens.
He said that preparation for events such as the Olympics were set up days or weeks in advance and would not be affected.
Varney also said he felt the two sides had moved closer to an agreement over the sell-off, which will see IT services firm Siemens Business Services take over BBC Technology.
Bectu is to hold a consultative ballot on 29 July on a new offer made to staff earlier this week before going ahead with strike action.
"We are consulting over the issues the ballot is about: that's terms and conditions, pensions, protection of pension arrangements, understanding what happens to people and things like location of work. Those are issues we are consulting on and will respond to," said Varney.
"We believe we are not far away from Bectu's requirements, and the deal we have done is very much in line with what Bectu wants for its members."
But Bectu said it still expected members to follow its advice and reject the offer.
The union wants a three-year guarantee on current employee terms and conditions, with staged pay rises and reassurances that pension deals will remain unchanged for the 1,500 BBC Technology and News IT staff due to transfer with the sale.
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