Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

14.16 9 Nov 2019


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Trade unions at RTÉ are warning they'll ballot members for industrial action if the broadcaster tries to force pay cuts and mandatory redundancies on staff.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) says the national broadcaster faces "the full wrath of the trade union movement" if cuts are imposed by management.

Staff representatives are being consulted about a three-year plan to slash €60 million at RTÉ announced earlier this week.

The broadcaster said it will cut around 200 jobs in 2020 as part of the plans, while it also wants to reduce the salaries paid to its top contracted on-air presenters by 15%.

The company says it will consult with staff and unions on a number of initiatives including a pay freeze, tiered pay reductions, review of benefits and work practice reforms.

Graham Macken, industrial official with SIPTU, suggests striking remains an option - but for now they are still talking with RTÉ management about the proposed changes.

He said: "There's a lot of negotiations and discussions to take place between now and then.

"To be very, very clear: we have stated that in the event that RTÉ attempt to impose pay cuts... we certainly at this point can't rule out a ballot of industrial action."

Mr Macken argued that the Government is ultimately responsible for the broadcaster's funding crisi.

He said: "The Minister acknowledged a number of months ago that there was a funding problem for RTÉ - but then in the next breath turned around and said it won't be resolved or addressed until five years down the line.

"If it's not done or their position isn't amended... we're in a very precarious position as to whether we get five years down the line or not."

The NUJ, meanwhile, also noted that it is consulting with management.

Main image: Pictured is the RTE Montrose campus in Donnybrook Dublin. Photo. Mark Stedman/RollingNews.ie

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