NUJ comment on publication of BBC stars' pay
19 July 2017
Séamus Dooley, acting general secretary of the National Union of Journalists, said the publication of the salaries paid to on-screen stars at the BBC must not be used as a weapon to undermine public service broadcasting. He also called for urgent action to address the gender pay gap and broader issues of diversity within the BBC, along with a wider debate on the future of public service broadcasting in the UK.
Welcoming publication of salaries paid to 96 top earners, Séamus Dooley said the NUJ was in favour of openness and transparency at every level within the BBC.
He said:"The NUJ represents a vast number of talented, underpaid and badly resourced members within the BBC. Use of the word "talent" to describe just the top layer of workers is misleading in that every programme depends on a dedicated and talented staff, many of whom earn a fraction of that paid to the top stars.
"While there is a predictable media focus on the money paid to on screen stars, the NUJ has long called for a review of the terms and conditions of senior BBC executives and in any debate on salaries senior executives should not escape the focus of attention. They will certainly be scrutinised by our members.
"We are currently engaged in a review of terms and conditions within the NUJ on a cross-union basis and the issue of equality remains high on our agenda.
"I would warn against allowing understandable anger at the level of top pay to be used as a weapon against the BBC or the principle of public service broadcasting by those with a political or commercial agenda. The BBC is the leading public service broadcaster in the world and it is vital that it is given the resources to provide a world class service."