The BBC is facing a new pay row due to growing anger from staff in the World Service about the gap between what they are paid compared with elsewhere in the corporation’s news division.
An internal review of the discrepancies between the World Service and the rest of news was due to be to published to staff in the spring, but the corporation is yet to release its findings, with insiders claiming it will show shocking differences.
Two senior BBC sources said they were not aware of a news presenter on the World Service being paid more than £50,000 a year and were shocked to find that presenters of the BBC’s network news, such as Huw Edwards, were earning almost £600,000.
“Tony Hall [the director-general] says that World Service is the jewel in the crown for the BBC but he needs to put his money where his mouth is,” they added. “They would see themselves as the poor relations.”
Another source said the BBC were “hypocrites” for including the World Service when it measured the number of workers from ethnic minority backgrounds, but then not treating World Service staff the same way on pay. The source said World Service staff were very unhappy and there was a “huge, huge difference” in pay compared with network news.
James Harding, the BBC’s director of news and currents affairs, and Francesca Unsworth, director of World Service Group, commissioned accountancy firm PwC to review the differences in pay between World Service journalists and the news division.
BBC staff are understood to have been told that the outcome of the review will be announced “within the next few weeks” and that the delay was linked to a separate consultation on changes to terms and conditions for staff, which could lead to the end of allowances for working unpredictable hours and overtime.
A BBC spokesperson said: “Before 2014, the BBC World Service was funded separately from BBC News and operated under different pay structures. Following the integration of the…