Pay cuts at the BFI

From: Amanda Nevill
Sent: 17 April 2008 16:40
To: All BFI Staff
Subject: Message from Amanda

Colleagues,

In spite of all our collective endeavours over the last eighteen months, as you know we have not been given an increase in our grant-in-aid, or any cost of living increase. This is very frustrating, but we have to move on and put our energies into pushing harder on a number of opportunities which could resolve the issue longer term.

One of the consequences however is that we have no monies to pass on in the form of a cost of living increase.

Most members of staff are part of a pay scheme that has two methods of potential increase: a cost of living increase (which is dependent on the BFI being able to afford it), and an increment, worth 4%, which is linked to achieving a ‘satisfactory’ performance. Those at the top of the scale do not receive this incremental increase.

The pay scheme is very new, and at present we have yet to fully agree with the unions how the performance element will be incorporated and implemented. For this year therefore, in the absolute belief that this will be agreed within the next couple of months, we expect to pay the increment.

However, just before we do, we wanted to give you the opportunity to consider the options that exist for disbursement of the reduced pay pot. They are as follows

Option 1 Pay increments in May – eligible staff receive a 4% increase backdated to 1 April 2008.

Option 2 Pay cost of living increase of 2% to all staff, and those eligible receive additional 4% increment in October, not backdated

These are the two options we have put to the Unions.

If no preference is recorded, or option 2 is rejected, then the eligible staff will receive the 4% incremental increase in May (backdated), and no cost of living payments will be made.

It would be really helpful if you could let your unions know which option you would prefer.

Clearly this is not a situation which is sustainable into the next two years and we are working with our new Chair and with the Governors on a plan to address the grant-in-aid shortfall. The Governors agreed at their last meeting that no rash economies should be made until we had greater certainty on a number of critical opportunities – the potential income for a digital strategy, options for other use of our estate and certainty on the Film Centre, and the full potential for further fundraising. Many of the Managers are involved with the Executive in the development of various strands in the plan. We have been tasked with bringing a draft set of options to the Governors away day in July by which time we should have certainty on the critical items.

Disappointing and frustrating as this is to us all, to enter into protracted talks about pay when we simply haven’t the funds to offer more than the 4% increment, could be very time consuming. I am really hoping that instead we can put our energies into finding a sensible way forward, which minimises any damaging decisions. To do this we really need to be able to focus our energies on the forward plan, supported by our new Chair and the Governors, as this is the best way that we can start to ensure that a cost of living increase can be achieved for next year.

Amanda