Trade unions warn of industrial action if RTÉ try to force pay cuts on staff

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

The National Union of Journalists said the state 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 €60m at RTÉ, which was announced this week.

The broadcaster announced last week that it is seeking to reduce its workforce by 200 as one of a series of measures to tackle its financial crisis and reduce projected costs by €60m over the next three years.

Other notable measures include the closure of the existing studios in Limerick and the digital radio network, the sale of the RTÉ Guide and the closure of the Aertel service.

Graham Macken, industrial official with Siptu, said striking remains an option.

“There’s a lot of negotiations and discussion to take place between now and then,” said Mr Macken.

“But I suppose to be very, very clear – we have stated that in the event that RTÉ attempt to impose pay cuts, that we certainly at this point can’t rule out a ballot for industrial action.

“Now, to be fair, that is not our preferred option.

“But we need to reassure our members that it absolutely hasn’t been taken off the table.”

Meanwhile, Green Party leader and former communications minister Eamon Ryan said the Government has failed to act to solve the funding crisis.

“The problem here is not with the management or the board of RTÉ,” said Mr Ryan.

“The problem is that the funding model has collapsed and in those circumstances, the outgoings in the organisation are higher than the revenue. And things have to change.”



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