Senior BBC executives are trying to “play nice” with staff who have been enraged by the cuts to their pensions. Things got worse when news came out that executives were not having to face the same pension cap of 1 per cent a year as staff. Broadcast unions have called BBC’s pension plan changes “pension robbery.”
On Monday, the BBC director general, Mark Thompson participated in a Q & A session with 150 staff. Those outside of the meeting were able to watch through BBC’s internal TV system. As a part of managements correction, Mr. Thompson told staff that senior managers would give up pay in the amount of 1 million pounds in lieu of pension contributions, to better bring them into line with corporate pension provisions.
The BBC has a pension deficit of 2 billion pounds. Management felt the only way to deal with such a massive deficit was to place a cap. Other ways to help that have been considered is the sell of BBC assets to pay the deficit down, raising the retirement age, or seeking additional employee contributions.
Mr. Thompson also sent an email to all staff concerning the company’s 90 day consultation on the changes: “We’re looking hard at the concerns you’ve been raising and, if there are changes to the proposals that can go some way to addressing those concerns but which also tackle the fundamental issues, we’ll adjust the proposals accordingly.”
“We’ll come back to you at the start of September with a response to the consultation so far, and we’ll make sure there is plenty of time for you to consider and give your reaction.”