Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

letters Do skeletons lurk in the Portland Place closet?

  • Comment

I've had to wear a sling for my jaw, it dropped so far on reading 'riba News - Lifting Staff Morale' (aj 23.3.00). You quoted the director general as announcing 'new plans' to offer riba staff permanent contracts and a pension plan - they enjoyed these advantages until his arrival in the mid-1990s, but one wonders if this reversion to decent employment practice from the middle of the last century is not too radical a step. Will there also be a change from the situation whereby staff's futures are at the mercy of one individual's impulses - here today, gone tomorrow (and back the next day, if you're Roula Konzotis)?

However, as you indicate, 'Reid said staff morale had been damaged by the terms', and the aim is to cut turnover and attract better candidates for jobs. The implication is that turnover is too high, candidates for jobs are not good enough (bad news for recent appointees!) and morale is unsatisfactory - a tasty menu for the next director general.

But your report concluded with something even more bizarre: the reserves are now £127,000 in the black, not much of an achievement with the size of the budget, but never mind that it accompanies the mind-boggling claim that the institute had a £2.5 million deficit in 1994. This was the year Reid took over from Lord Rodgers as director general, Frank Duffy, who appointed him, was president, Alan Willis was the highly regarded honorary treasurer and the current director, finance, was finance officer. The implication must be that they - and the then council - allowed, and did not admit to, a deficit that represented a large proportion of the riba's annual income at the time.

I cannot remember the shock, horror, dismissals and resignations normally attendant upon such a calamity - some mistake or what? Whose fantasy world are we living in?

Peter Gibbs-Kennet, Bisley, Gloucestershire

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.