Stephen Dando, head of HR at the BBC, was paid a total of £313,000 in the last financial year, the corporation’s annual report reveals.
Dando, who is overseeing 4,000 job cuts at the BBC, received a salary of £245,000 and a bonus of £65,000, the report shows.
Unions criticised Dando and other senior BBC management for accepting bonuses totalling £546,000, at a time when the workforce is being cut by 20%.
The criticism was not muted by director-general Mark Thompson’s decision to hand back his £135,000 bonus.
Thompson sent an e-mail staff yesterday (12 July) to say that he wasn’t taking his contractual entitlement this year because, amid all the planned job losses over the next three years, “it didn’t feel right”.
But union officials, who called a one-day strike in May in protest at the job cuts but have since begun talks on how to implement them, said they were outraged.
Gerry Morrissey, an official at broadcast union Bectu, accused the management of “feathering their own nests”.
“Staff are not going to accept job cuts, especially compulsory redundancies, easily while the bosses who planned them in the first place are giving themselves fat-cat bonuses,” he said.
Bectu called on the other nine executive board members to follow Thompson’s example and hand back the bonuses they have received packages.
BBC chairman Michael Grade defended the bonus scheme.”The BBC is different from commercial broadcasters. We do not and cannot offer share options and long-term incentives and other financial rewards which are available to our private sector competitors,” he said.
“The BBC’s policy for all staff is to pay basic salaries based on the market median of relevant private and public sector organisations, including broadcasters, to ensure we attract and retain the most talented people. The median, that is not the top of the market range, nor the bottom.”
Grade added that the BBC governors have reviewed the policy for executive bonus awards, with advice from consultancy Hay Group, and decided that they will be reduced from 30% to a 10% cap.