BBC fails to placate unions in pensions row

BBC director-general Mark Thompson looks set to scrap pension top-ups to the Corporation’s senior executives as he bids to defuse a row with unions.

However, MediaGuardian is reporting that the move has failed to impress lower-ranking staff, who are unhappy with proposals to cap final salary pensions.

Thompson, who is already forgoing a month’s pay this year and next, would effectively cut his own £838,000 salary by 20 per cent by turning down the customary pension top-up scheme, which is worth more than £1m a year in total to around 30 top executives. But he has indicated that he would scrap it before the next financial year.

“We will review it on the principle that pension contributions should be as consistent and fair as can be, irrespective of seniority,” said Thompson during an internal meeting with staff over  proposed pension cuts. “From an economic point of view we don’t have much room to manoeuvre.”

Unions have threatened industrial action that could hit programming next month.

Thompson is said to be dismayed by the backlash but is preparing to make significant concessions, with particular focus turning to the sale of BBC Magazines to help fund a £2bn pension deficit.

(Source: MediaGuardian)

This article appears in issue 247 of Media Digest.

Photo by Flickr user ell brown, licenced under Creative Commons.

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