Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Making us cry

The BBC's current grading structure is like an old onion net, with gaping holes, bits of old skin hanging out, and if picked up by someone for a closer inspection, the offending vegetables would spill out across the floor in varying stages of decay.

The onion marked Band 11, however, would still be growing, and a powerful green shoot would represent those paid more than the roof of the grade. For all the work done by HR to define the scope and scale of a job, the roofs of all scales are permeable, which has made a nonsense of the comparisons for years.

When the spotlight first turned on management numbers, with Mark Thompson the first DG to at least consider looking for a reverse gear, a number of Senior Management jobs were simply moved down to Band 11, the top of a scale from 2 to 11. Current incumbents were offered generous redundancy terms, including for some, pensions that started in full at 50 - and that was the sum of 'restructuring'.

Now, that process is still going on, without the big incentives to create holes. Some managers have simply been regraded to Band 11 - on unchanged salaries. Bands 10 and 11 are also now in theory populated by oresenters returning from the shell private companies the BBC once instructed them to form. Their base pay is so far above the roofs they can barely be made out below.

The BBC is trying to hold back on this sort of detail until there's delivery on 1,000 job cuts, which should include a whole bunch of managers. But with all the current flummery about BBC Inform and BBC Entertain, it looks as though we are as far away from a genuine content-making restructure as we were a year ago.

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