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RTE clears way for 186 redundancies to cut €10m from pay bill

RTE has cleared the way for 186 staff to leave in a bid to slash €10m from its payroll costs -- and has not ruled out more exits.

It has been confirmed that another 96 employees have been officially approved to take an exit package that has already been accepted by 90 staff.

A total of 243 workers applied for the severance deal, which allowed them to leave without suffering any reduction in their pension due to pay cuts.

RTE initially sought 100 voluntary redundancies and early retirements but decided to extend the scheme.

High-profile names who have already left include newsreader Anne Doyle, western editor Jim Fahy and 'Nationwide' frontman Michael Ryan.

Those who applied, in the latest round of offers, were informed last week as to whether they were successful or not.

Sources at RTE said those who had been approved for redundancy work across a range of areas, with no one section standing out more than others.

RTE denied that some sections had been targeted over others for approval of applications.

Late last year, RTE director general Noel Curran said the huge response to the voluntary scheme gave RTE an opportunity to increase the number of redundancies.

He said further substantial cost reductions would be required this year to break even in 2013.

Staff have already had pay cuts of up to 12.5pc as part of payroll savings but rejected plans agreed with unions to slash holidays by two-and-a-half days.

The cuts were agreed to compensate the station for agreeing to resume paying increments to more than 600 staff.

Meanwhile, a new state-of-the-art studio is to be opened by the state broadcaster at the start of March, which plans to have a 9am TV news bulletin.

Irish Independent