David Campanale, NUJ Father of the Chapel at BBC World News, said he was concerned that longer hours and more days would worsen sickness rates.
The new rosters require staff to work extra days and longer hours including extra float-shifts on top of the regular four-week rota patterns.
BBC sources suggested to Broadband TV News that a quarter of the team were not actually working their contracted hours, putting additional pressure on their colleagues.
A spokesperson for the BBC said: “We are disappointed that a strike has been called, especially at a time when our services are much in demand globally. We will do everything possible to ensure our audiences are not unduly affected by this industrial action. These proposed rota changes are about fairness for all our staff and ongoing investment outside the UK – essential for a successful commercial global news channel. Despite the channel’s ongoing success, we are not immune to the financial pressures across the industry.”
There is already unease at BBC World News over plans to merge the international news channel with its domestic counterpart amid a continuing cost cutting exercise.