Mark Thompson hints at further concessions to avert BBC pensions strike

BBC director general Mark Thompson has hinted that further concessions could be made to avert a potential strike over planned cuts to the corporation’s pension scheme.

The BBC made proposals in June to plug a £2bn shortfall in its pension fund by drastically curbing the final salary benefits offered to staff.

The annoucement was met with outcry by unions and employees which led Thompson to earlier this week announce plans to scrap pension top-ups for execs.

A report today suggests he may be willing to go even further and concede more ground on pension reform:

Thompson said in an email to staff (quoted in the Daily Telegraph):

“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.”

But National Union of Journalists general secretary Jeremy Dear is unconvinced by the concessions offered so far. Writing on his blog he says:

The BBC have had pensions holidays, underpaid over a number of years and put millions in to executive pensions – now they are asking staff to pay the price. The BBC must guarantee the value of staff pensions already earned or face the prospect of coordinated strike action.

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