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BBC pays ethnic minority workers £20,000 a year less than they give to white staff claims senior editor suing for race discrimination
- Saleem Patka is a senior manager at the World Service languages unit in London
- Claims BBC pays managers from ethnic minorities £18,700 less than white staff
- He also claims that this is also £7,400 less at the same level in news operation
Saleem Patka, a senior manager at the BBC World Service languages unit in London, has accused the Corporation of paying ethnic minority staff almost £20,000 less than white colleagues
A senior BBC editor has accused the Corporation of paying ethnic minority staff almost £20,000 less than white colleagues, it was revealed today.
Saleem Patka, a senior manager at the BBC World Service languages unit in London, claims at management level the average pay difference in his department is £18,700 a year and is £7,400 less at the same level in news.
Mr Patka is suing the BBC claiming that on three occasions he was promoted his salary was at a ‘lower level than that which was offered or would have been offered to white managers’.
The BBC is fighting his race discrimination claim and says Mr Patka’s figures are not from ‘truly comparable groups’.
It came after a number of high profile women including Carrie Gracie and Sarah Montague were incandescent with rage when they found out male colleagues were paid up to 50 per cent more to do the same job.
Mr Patka worked as a night editor for the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 before moving to BBC World.
He claims his pay, and that of others, has suffered because of the colour of his skin.
According to legal documents seen by the Evening Standard Mr Patka claims: ‘On the grounds of race the salary he was offered at the three managerial roles that he held since 2010 was at a lower level than that which was offered or would have been offered to white managers in network news at the same level doing the same work as him.
‘He says that it was on racial grounds because the decisions as to the level of salary were made in accordance with the policy or practice to pay those in World Service [the overwhelming majority of whom were not white British] at a lower level than those in network news [the overwhelming majority of whom were white British].
‘His case is that that policy or practice was racially discriminatory because the difference in pay between the two groups was due to the difference in the racial composition of the two groups.’
The BBC is refuting his claims and says his pay was set ‘on an individual basis taking into account a number of factors’ – not his race and questioned the figures he has used based on FOI responses.
A spokesman said: ‘We are defending this claim’.
In 2013 Mr Patka made the news after suggesting the Queen’s visit to New Broadcasting House was like something in North Korea.
He wrote a letter to the corporation’s in-house journal Ariel which read: ‘After the mass hysteria caused by the visit of the Queen to the NBH newsroom, I trust the journalists who took part will remember their excitable behaviour next time they write mockingly about the sometimes bizarre reaction of North Koreans when they get to meet Kim Jong-un.’
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