Friday 19 January 2018

Bid to slash €8m at RTE news stalls

EFFORTS to cut €8m from news and current affairs spending at RTE have stalled after just 10 staff applied for 40 places on a critical voluntary redundancy scheme, writes Mark Hilliard.

With next Friday's deadline for the scheme looming, staff are fearful that the undersubscribed severance scheme could result in further job losses.

Montrose chiefs insist this is not currently under consideration but only the outcome of the scheme will tell whether alternative approaches on savings will be required.

This week, management at the financially-embattled broadcaster met with staff in six departments to discuss efforts to cut €25m in costs.

Around €15m is expected to be saved through cuts in staff, including a voluntary redundancy and early retirement scheme. Another €8m in cuts is being sought from the news and current affairs department.

"They need to reduce the amount of people on each desk, so, for example, if there are five people on the foreign desk then they need to reduce that to four," a source said.

Another staff member said: "It's the most depressing place in the world at the moment; it's really bad."

RTE has insisted it is only focused on reducing its costs through its voluntary staff reduction proposals and reductions in expenses but has warned that other fallback options may be introduced.

Irish Independent

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