Bectu, the National Union of Journalists and Unite have demanded that BBC staff receive a pay rise 3% above inflation.

The joint unions made their demands in a letter ahead of the 2013/14 pay review and expect to get BBC management around a table to discuss the matter next month.

The 3% figure is designed to give the unions some negotiating space, but Bectu’s supervisory official Helen Ryan made clear that staff “will not put up with a below inflation increase”.

Last year the BBC signed a joint commitment, which stated that a “continuous pattern” of settlements representing a real terms pay cut were neither “desirable nor sustainable”. It handed staff a 1% pay rise last year.

Ryan said the unions will hold the broadcaster to the commitment and if negotiations are not constructive, members may push for industrial action.

“The results of the BBC staff survey show less than a third (32%) of staff believed that they are adequately awarded for their job,” Ryan said in the unions’ letter. “We hope the BBC will give our claim proper consideration.”

A BBC spokesman said: “We will be discussing this year’s pay claim with the unions in due course.”

Bectu members at ITV voted to accept a 2.75% pay increase last year.