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RTÉ staff say decision to cut children's programme making was 'bolt from the blue'

The RTÉ Trade Union Group say that decision was taken “without any consultation”.

Former presenter of The Den Francis Boylan with Dustin and Socky.
Former presenter of The Den Francis Boylan with Dustin and Socky.
Image: Leon Farrell/RollingNews.ie

TRADE UNIONS AT RTÉ are to hold an “emergency meeting” after the broadcaster’s “bolt from the blue” decision to stop making children’s programming.

RTÉ confirmed last night that it would be outsourcing the production of all of its young person’s TV shows to the independent sector.

In its statement, RTÉ said this decision was taken to achieve better “value for money” in a “challenging financial environment” .

The RTÉ Trade Union Group is not happy with the decision, however, claiming that it was made “without any consultation with trade unions”.

“There is no justification for the manner in which this decision was taken and this cavalier attitude to unions and staff only compounds the bad decision,” TUG chair Shirley Bradshaw has said this evening.

The TUG has described the decision as an attack on the “fundamental principle of public service broadcasting” and wants RTÉ to roll back on it.

“There is no justification for the manner in which this decision was taken and this cavalier attitude to unions and staff only compounds the bad decision,” Bradshaw added.

The TUG has said that it will hold a meeting with senior management tomorrow about the decision and will assess its options following that meeting.

Politicians have been critical of the decision with Senator Kevin Humphreys calling on the Minister for Communications to get involved.

Jimmy Dignam of the Workers’ Party called the decision “a slippery slope towards further privatisation of a vital public service.”

Dignam also raised concerns over the jobs of contract workers at the station.

Read: ‘I want her life to have meant something’: Daughter of murdered Irene White pleads for justice >

Read: Novelist Lee Child and Ryan Tubridy offer support as Gay Byrne prepares to fight cancer >

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Rónán Duffy

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