the media and entertainment union
a sector of Prospect

26 July 2010

BECTU issue the following press statement today Monday 26 July.

Union accuses BBC execs of double-standards

Following weekend (Sunday 25 July) press revelations that 50 senior managers, including the director-general, are receiving over a £1million a year in pension top-up payments, BECTU, the BBC’s largest union, has accused the executives of double standards and greed.

Several senior executives reportedly receive substantial additional sums to compensate them for the cap on executive pensions introduced in 1989.

In the last financial year, Mark Thompson is reported to have received £163,000 whilst the director of vision, Jana Bennett, reportedly received £87,000. Newer board members such as Tim Davie, director of audio and music and Lucy Adams, director of human resources, also reportedly benefitted to the tune of £72,000 and £42,000 respectively.

Double standards

Meanwhile, senior management are insisting that 19,000 staff should face a dramatic cut in their pension benefits. Management wants to introduce a 1% cap on increases to staff pensionable pay, a move which would cut both staff’s accrued entitlements and damage prospects for new recruits wanting to make pension provision.  

Gerry Morrissey, BECTU general secretary, said:

“Prior to this revelation the anger amongst staff was unprecedented; staff will now rightly accuse their senior managers of double standards.”

 “Behaviour like this is bringing the BBC into disrepute. Whilst many hard working BBC staff are being asked to accept a pay freeze and a cut in their pensions the culture of greed carries on at the top.”

Strike ballots underway 5 August

BECTU, along with the other BBC unions, will this week start the process for a strike ballot amongst its members. So damning are the pensions proposals facing staff, that the unions are confident of a big ‘yes’ vote.

Gerry Morrissey added:

 “My members will fight to save their pensions. Many of them will not receive in their whole retired life what some executives are receiving in slush fund payments.”

The result of the strike ballots will be known on the 1 September; strike action could commence a week later. If staff back action, the unions will consider targeting such events as The Last Night of the Proms, the party conference season and sporting fixtures.


For more detail about BECTU’s dispute on pay and pensions visit: