Wednesday 21 February 2018

Cost of job cuts at RTÉ over past six years to top €70m

Former news anchorwoman Anne Doyle. Photo: Mark Condren
Former news anchorwoman Anne Doyle. Photo: Mark Condren

Sarah Slater

Job cuts at RTÉ over the past six years have cost at least €70m. The latest round of proposed job losses will cost at least €25m in severance pay.

Last month, the national broadcaster said it was seeking about 250 voluntary redundancies of permanent staff over the next two years in a restructuring bid to cut crippling costs.

Since 2011 RTÉ has shed another 350 permanent employees in three voluntary exit programmes.

Based on an average payment including lump sum of €100,000 per redundancy for a typical employee across all divisions in 2012, current costs could soar to the conservative estimate of more than €20m.

The figures are based on when RTÉ undertook a major restructuring in 2011 and 2012 targeted to deliver ongoing annual sustainable savings.

A key element of the then restructuring programme was the Early Retirement and Redundancy Facility (ERRF) and Voluntary Severance Facility (VSF) under which 350 people voluntarily left the ailing organisation during 2011 and 2012.

The overall cost of the restructuring in 2012 was €46.2m as disclosed in the RTÉ Annual Report and Financial Statements for 2012. Among the big names who left then were news anchorwoman Anne Doyle and chief reporter Charlie Bird.

The elements of the then restructuring charges which included the cost of the benefits provided to individuals leaving, including related pension scheme payments, professional fees and services relating to restructuring activities, are expected to be similar this time.

A spokesperson for the organisation said: "RTÉ has not announced any details of the voluntary exit programme," but an announcement is expected during the summer months.

It is expected that all of those who leave will be replaced by those offered rolling or temporary contracts.

Irish Independent

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