Tate roasted for £39,500 ‘head of coffee’ role while tension brews over pay

Tate Britain offers head of coffee £40,000

Something for the weekend: Art gallery Tate is looking for a new ‘head of coffee’ to join its workforce, and is offering the successful applicant a full-bodied salary of £39,500 a year. 

With applications closing on 9 February 2020, the ideal candidate will espresso themselves by sourcing, blending, and roasting coffee across the four Tate Galleries, as well as managing the organisation’s hot beverage team. 

The organisation will be on the lookout for a strong leader, who has a latte of experience and a ‘can-brew’ attitude. In return for their commitment to the daily grind, Tate will pay the successful candidate £39,500 per year, plus sales-related bonuses. 

While this sounds like a coffee connoisseur’s dream, it has created a bitter taste for some, with trade unions using the opportunity to highlight pay discrepancies, stating that professional and specialist curators are paid too little in comparison, with an average of £37,000 per year. 

Alan Leighton, national secretary of the trade union Prospect, told the BBC: “The pay discrepancy highlighted is a stark reminder, not that the head of coffee is paid too much, but that highly qualified museum professionals are paid far too little.

“Across the sector, it is clear that roles which exist in other sectors are paid well, while heritage-specific roles are paid appallingly.”

In a statement, the Tate said: “All Tate’s departments have a variety of roles with different responsibilities and salaries, including curatorial, and a more accurate comparison would be a curatorial team leader. We value all our staff and strive to pay them appropriately for their work at Tate.”

Here at Employee Benefits, we live on coffee, and would be delighted to drop by for taste tests to help Tate prove that having a highly qualified head of coffee is worth all this hot water…