Sunday 23 July 2017

RTE U-turn sees '7 out of 45 staff keep jobs in young people's section'

RTE is seeking to outsource a large amount of its output Photo: Getty Images
RTE is seeking to outsource a large amount of its output Photo: Getty Images

Eimear Rabbitt

RTÉ are to hold a 'thank you' party for its Young People's Programming department today as it moves to outsource a significant portion of the section's output.

RTÉ are keen to "maintain a profile" in the sector while using "minimal in house production".

This will include recording continuity links between programmes but radically reducing the number of programmes recorded in house.

It is part of RTÉ's ongoing strategy to reduce overheads and slash budgets.

The Young People's Programming department were told in November that they were going to be redeployed elsewhere and 15 contractors were told they would be let go.

There was outcry within RTÉ and the plan was temporarily suspended as management accepted that there had been a breach of the 'Guiding Principles Agreement' - which commit to prior consultation with the trade union on significant issues.

The trade union and management committed to a "consultation period" which was due to end on January 31, 2017.

In an official statement issued yesterday, RTÉ confirmed that there will be some form of "in-house production" going into the future.

It said details of this had not yet been confirmed.

It is believed the department has been reduced from 45 to seven staff.

The young people's programming office space was cleared out yesterday.

Later this month RTÉ will begin meeting with key players and production companies in the independent sector to advise them on what sort of programming they are looking for in the future.

They will also advise independent production companies on production standards.

Meanwhile, RTÉ 2 have cancelled flagship show 'The Republic of Telly' after 15 seasons.

RTÉ2 said it is looking at a number of new comedy and entertainment series for the channel.

Irish Independent

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