Tuesday 26 September 2017

RTE rules out axing posts in new round of cuts

Mark Hilliard

RTE ruled out job cuts last night even though the number of employees opting for voluntary redundancy looks set to be lower than anticipated.

The State broadcaster is aiming to save around €15m from "personnel-related costs" -- equivalent to about 200 jobs.

However, that level of job cuts is not envisaged as cuts will be made in other personnel-related areas.

The more employees who opt for the voluntary redundancy, the fewer cuts will have to be made in areas such as overtime.

So far, just 30 people have applied for the scheme which ends on June 15.

A meeting between unions and management was held yesterday to address measures to tackle a projected deficit of €25m for the year.

Sources at Montrose have indicated that the level of redundancy applications is likely to increase closer to the deadline.

Punitive

However, if this turns out not to be the case, voluntary reductions in staff numbers will not be replaced by compulsory redundancy.

While yesterday's meeting marks an early stage in negotiations, further punitive pay cuts to staff are not thought to be on the table as of yet.

It's understood that management indicated to unions that if the €25m target cannot be reached through the identified savings areas, then other approaches may have to be considered.

Most cost-reduction measures are likely to be in place by September.

The €25m savings being sought represent a considerable 8pc of the broadcaster's overall €350m annual budget.

Specifics are still absent from the plan and the station's Trade Union Group (TUG) declined to comment ahead of more detailed proposals, expected next week.

However, reports from the station indicated that the TUG was unhappy with the lack of specifics from yesterday's early round of talks.

Irish Independent

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