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Pay cuts on the cards as RTÉ announces cost-saving plans

Details of a voluntary redundancy scheme will be announced in the coming weeks.

RTÉ director general Dee Forbes said the measures are necessary to return RTÉ to a sustainable financial position.
RTÉ director general Dee Forbes said the measures are necessary to return RTÉ to a sustainable financial position.
Image: Niall Carson/PA

RTÉ HAS ANNOUNCED a series of proposals to reduce costs including cuts to pay and a voluntary redundancy scheme. 

The broadcaster has said these proposals would support its plans to reduce costs by €60 million over three years.

Discussions took place in recent weeks between management and the RTÉ Trade Union Group and proposals will be put forward for ballot, including:

  • A voluntary redundancy scheme to be announced in the coming weeks;
  • Cuts to staff pay;
  • Reductions in allowances;
  • Reductions in salary protection and sick pay, in line with public service levels;
  • Standardisation of leave.

All staff with salaries under €40,000 would be exempt from pay cuts. After that, the cuts would depend on salary scales:

  • €40k-€70k: 3.35%
  • €70k-€100k: 3.85%
  • €100-€130k: 4.35%
  • €130k-€160k: 4.85%
  • €160k>: 5.35%

This means, for example, a staff member earning €45,000 per year would see a reduction of €800, while someone earning €250,000 would have their pay cut by €12,575.

Allowances would be reduced by 10% and RTÉ’s contribution to salary protection would be reduced from 33% to 20%. 

If accepted, the agreement would commence from 1 May this year and would remain in force until April 2023. The changes to pay, allowances and leave would then be reversed.

The RTÉ Trade Union Group (TUG) said today there are “different views” within the negotiating team about the need for these proposals at this time. 

However it said it accepts that they represent the final position of RTÉ.

“During negotiations the TUG, mandated by its constituent unions, set as its priorities the maintenance of employment and changes to the original proposals of management,” the union said in a statement.

“These priorities are reflected in the amendments accepted by RTÉ management. If our members accept these proposals in an effort to secure the long term viability of the organisation and the protection of Public Service Broadcasting, other stakeholders are required to play their role in this process.”

The union also called on the government to provide the necessary funding required for public service broadcasting “in recognition of the essential role played by RTÉ workers, in particular during the Covid-19 pandemic”. 

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In a statement, RTÉ director general Dee Forbes said RTÉ is “experiencing ongoing financial difficulties that require immediate measures to ensure our continued viability”.

“I am very conscious that measures that affect the pay and conditions of all staff are difficult, particularly at this time,” she said.

“But they are necessary as part of a series of measures to return RTÉ to a sustainable financial position.

“I believe the measures are proportionate and fair and crucially, as the Agreement states, they reflect RTÉ’s continued commitment to the principles of protecting employment, content and output.”

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