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Staff at RTÉ reject pay cut plans as union says proposals now 'off the table'

The plan was rejected by 87% by 13%.

Director General of RTE Dee Forbes.
Director General of RTE Dee Forbes.
Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

STAFF AT RTÉ have rejected a cost-cutting plan that envisaged temporary pay cuts of between 3-5% 

The plan is part of efforts by the national broadcaster to reduce costs by €60 million over three years, with the temporary pay cuts believed to target a saving of over €8 million a year. 

The ballot came about following negotiations earlier this year between management and the RTÉ Trade Union Group (RTÉ TUG).

A proposed plan was then put to a ballot of staff members, which has now been rejected by a margin of 87% by 13%. 

RTÉ director general Dee Forbes said earlier this year that the cuts were needed “to ensure our continued viability”. 

In a statement today,  RTÉ TUG said the proposals were now “off the table”. 

“The proposals have been overwhelmingly rejected by members across all unions. The clear message is that these proposals are now off the table. Staff will not accept a pay cut and RTÉ management must reflect on that reality,” the union said. 

Our members have not had a general pay increase for 13 years. It is now a matter for RTÉ to consider the outcome of the ballot. The TUG will continue to be available for discussions with management and our engagement in negotiations will be informed by the outcome of the ballot.

The proposals had included provisions for:

  • A voluntary redundancy scheme 
  • 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 were to be exempt from pay cuts.

After that level, the cuts would gradually increase from 3.35% to 5.35% on salaries between €40,ooo and above €160,000. 

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It meant, for example, that 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.

Had the proposals been accepted, it was planned that the temporary cuts would have commenced from the beginning of next month and last until April 2023. 

In a statement this afternoon, RTÉ said that it is “disappointed with the outcome” and will engage further with RTÉ TUG. 

“The graduated pay cuts and other related savings were a key part of the drive to reduce costs, alongside strategies to grow commercial revenue,” RTÉ said. 

“RTÉ will now have to consider other options as to how best to make the necessary savings while continuing as much as possible to protect programming and services for the public, and retain jobs.

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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