Thursday 21 November 2019

RTE now told that staff redundancy scheme is too generous

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Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

RTE's planned redundancy scheme is viewed as too generous by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, which has suggested it consider other public sector schemes with lesser terms.

Although the terms are tighter than previous RTE schemes, it is believed that average pay-outs will top €80,000 while the exit deals for the best-paid will run well into six figures.

This will cost the broadcaster an estimated €16m.

RTE does not need approval for the scheme but the department has given its observations to RTE, which is grappling with losses of €20m in 2016.

Sources told the Sunday Independent that RTE is planning to offer between four and six weeks of redundancy for each year of service, including statutory redundancy pay, depending on length of service. But the department has suggested a more financially conservative approach, possibly offering three to five weeks for every year of service.

It is understood that RTE has defended the scheme, which would be capped at two years' salary. It believes it needs to make a generous offer to employees in order to achieve the 200 redundancies it is seeking.

The broadcaster is already in the spotlight over pay after the Sunday Independent revealed that newscaster Sharon Ni Bheolain is paid considerably less than her RTE Six One News co-host Bryan Dobson. A number of high-profile RTE female staff have privately raised concerns over the gender pay gap.

Separately, RTE has defended the lack of discussion of the original story on gender pay at the station on the Marian Finucane show last Sunday.

Sunday Independent

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