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BBC pay: Trade union demands £20,000 minimum salary for low-paid production workers as top talent wages revealed

Many technical staff and engineers currently earn around £16,000

Tom Batchelor
Wednesday 19 July 2017 12:02 BST
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Around 2,500 staff at the publicly-funded broadcaster are understood to earn less than £20,000
Around 2,500 staff at the publicly-funded broadcaster are understood to earn less than £20,000 (Getty)

The union representing thousands of low-paid production workers employed by the BBC has called for a minimum salary of £20,000.

Bectu – the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union - said it was "unjustifiable" for the corporation to focus on the earnings of those on more than £150,000 when thousands of engineers, technical and other production staff were paid a fraction of that amount.

Around 2,500 staff at the publicly-funded broadcaster are understood to earn less than £20,000.

Gerry Morrissey, leader of Bectu - now part of the Prospect union - said something should be done about low pay.

He told the Press Association: "We have had a claim in for two years for a minimum wage of £20,000 rather than the current £16,000.

"It is totally unacceptable that the BBC is prepared to pay senior management and others many times that amount.

"There should be a lot more focus on giving low-paid staff a decent living wage."

The call for pay comes as the BBC revealed its highest paid star was Chris Evans, the radio and TV presenter who hosted Top Gear for one series, who earnt £2.2m.

The BBC's biggest salaries revealed

Only one third of the list of talent earning over £150,000 are women, with the top names being men.

Director general Lord Tony Hall defended the high pay for some staff, saying the BBC had reduced its spending on top talent by 25 per cent in the past four years and 10 per cent since last year.

He said: "The total is down by £5 million on last year and that is consistent with what we have been doing over the last four years, which has been constantly reducing it.

"I completely understand that to lots and lots of people these are very large sums, but we are a global broadcaster in a very competitive market and we have to be competitive - but not foolishly.

"No-one would want us to be paying sums where it's not at a discount on the market.

"People expect us to have great broadcasters, great presenters, great stars, but pay them less than they would get on the market. Getting that discount right is very important."

Additional reporting PA

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