October 03, 2006

Ageism and Director's Pay

Two of the editorials in the guardian yesterday seemed appropriate, given the second topic in the newsletter.

First, for obvious reasons, the editorial on ageism: typically you may say, for the guardian, they say they don’t go far enough. They make some interesting points though.

Secondly, they made a big hoo-ha about director’s pay yesterday. And it struck me that it’s no good arguing for fairness in the employment market, without addressing this key issue. Averaging 28%, the increase in directors pay is farcical (inflation is at 2.5%, average earnings at 3.7%). Success in the boardroom deserves reward, but when these massive gains are seen of what some see as failing companies, how long can this go on? As the Guardian says:

There is a morality to the principle that work should bring a fair but not excessive reward: but it is a principle that Britain’s elite appear happy to apply to everyone apart from themselves

- 2 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Would be interesting to know the rate of pay (and rate of increase of that pay) for the editorial staff of the Guardian before taking this one too far.

    03 Oct 2006, 19:00

  2. I wonder who wrote that article, back in April Polly Toynbee wrote an article arguing against people being able to keep their earnings private “Because the highly paid command the citadels of public debate, they grossly distort the true picture of the way most people live now…” which seems very similar to this (and I suspect might be a cheap duplicate).

    Interestingly the Eye (1157) wrote to her to ask what she declared on her tax return (because she, like the rest of the Grauniad, are for openness, right?). The reply they got is worthy of any spin doctor, when she claimed she wouldn’t, adding “An organisation has to do it all together. Why pick ion [sic] the ione [sic] who advocates openbness [sic] and those who want everything to stay secret?”

    Now, apart from making little sense and having no less than three spelling errors in one sentence, it also shows me that people at the Guardian have little desire to show how much they earn. I haven’t been able to find out who gets paid what there, but interestingly the Guardian Media Group’s (GMG) national newspaper* division had a turnover of £237.4 million, yet the outcome of the year was a total loss of £49.9 million. So where did the rest go? Well, £30million went on the change to the Berliner format, and the rest of the £237million? The report is a little less clear… I don’t know how much of that is losses just from the paper (sure, they’re losing money on each paper, but they make up for it in numbers!), although probably a lot, but I would say that maybe £50million went in staff pay.

    *Source: GMG chief executive’s report

    03 Oct 2006, 20:50

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