Letter in the Guardian

Labour Party

Despite my post yesterday on the Guardian’s line on the future diection of the Labour Party, I was pleased to have this letter published today.

BBC hits a cynical note on pay talks

I read with dismay Tara Conlan’s article on the BBC storm over pay and pensions and how it is threatening the production of the Proms  (BBC discord threatens Proms, Media, 23 August). It seems that senior executives have offered to sacrifice one month’s salary in an effort to demonstrate that they too can “save the corporation money”. It’s patronising, to say the least, for senior executives to suggest they will work one month for free. It sends a cynical message that their salary is so meaningless, it is something they can afford to do with relative ease.

This move misses the point entirely and does not address the issue that many loyal BBC employees will have their pensions significantly altered without their consent. In addition, they have given their expertise to the corporation precisely because they felt they would be looked after, rather than taking on more lucrative deals with competitors where there is no such security. The BBC must address the pay and pension crisis, rather than being concerned with gimmicky PR moves such as asking senior executives to work one month without pay.

Mary honeyball MEP

London, Labour spokesperson on the European parliament culture committee