Top BBC journalist quits over 'secretive and illegal pay culture'
10 January, 2018, 02:16
Carrie Gracie, a veteran reporter who served as BBC News' China editor, caused a storm after accusing the news agency of gender pay gaps. Humphrys earns between £600,000 and £649,000 a year. However, also in October City law firm Mishcon de Ray announced that it was working with women at the BBC to advise on their rights and in interviews since her resignation Gracie, has revealed that up to 200 women have complained to management over pay.
In an open letter, Ms Gracie said the issue was about "men earning more in the same jobs or jobs of equal value".
She said the shock of finding this out was like a "full-body blow". But last July I learned that in the previous financial year, both men earned at least 50 per cent more than both women.
"Alongside that, we have already conducted a independent judge led audit of pay for rank and file staff which showed "no systemic discrimination against women".
In a pay disclosure a year ago, North America editor Jon Sopel was listed as having a salary of between £200,000 and £249,999, while Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen earned between £150,000 and £199,999.
It would be odd, obviously, for a BBC journalist to report on their own resignation, but the way the corporation tied.
"It is hugely regrettable that an outstanding and award-winning journalist like Carrie Gracie feels she has no option but to resign from her post as China Editor because the BBC has not valued her equally with her male counterparts", the statement reads. "I could not do it, nor could I stay silent and watch the BBC perpetuate a failing pay structure by discriminating against women".
Her letter to licence fee payers makes it clear what a hard decision it has been to speak out about what she calls a crisis of trust at the BBC, but why it is vital that the British public are clear about why she has been forced to resign her post as China Editor and return early to London.
"And in July 2017 I discovered the enormous gap that the two men - who were worldwide editors - were earning 50% more at least than the two women who were global editors".
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Miss Gracie had accused the BBC of a "secretive and illegal" pay culture and said she "no longer trusts bosses to give me an accurate answer".
One of the conditions she set for taking it was equal pay with the corporation's other worldwide editors, familiar names including Jon Sopel in Washington and Jeremy Bowen in the Middle East.
Europe editor Katya Adler, the BBC's only other female editor in foreign news, did not feature in the disclosures, meaning her pay was less than 150,000 pounds.
"I believe in public service broadcasting and I do think salaries at the top are unacceptably high", she added. Gracie herself was offered a grievance hearing and pay rise, from £135000 to £18000 but she declined.
Several high-profile women seized on the Gracie story to say the problem was much bigger than the BBC and affected the whole of society.
However, when it doesn't come to sports, there shouldn't be a pay gap between genders. "Let us honour that courageous generation by making this the year we win equal pay". It was not a gender pay row, it was an equal pay row, which is a very different thing.
Could Carrie Gracie take BBC to tribunal?
According to the Telegraph, the BBC swiftly issued a "reminder" to staff, authorised by the news director Fran Unswoth, that they were bound by impartiality rules and could not report on the story if they had "expressed a view".
The BBC insists that "fairness in pay" was "vital" to the corporation.
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