Ireland: RTÉ broadcasters and senior staff left 'fuming' over management's plan for pay cuts and freezes - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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Ireland RTÉ broadcasters and senior staff left 'fuming' over management's plan for pay cuts and freezes

09:25  11 november  2019
09:25  11 november  2019 Source:   independent.ie

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RTÉ is planning substantial job cuts and a 15 per cent pay reduction for its highest-earning presenters as part of a financial restructuring to save €60 An indefinite pay freeze will be introduced for all staff apart from senior management , who will take a 10 per cent pay cut . It is expected the role of all staff

She told the meeting that the broadcaster will stay in Donnybrook “for now”, but added that further She said if the envisaged programme of cuts and reforms is pushed through An indefinite pay freeze will be introduced for all staff apart from senior management , who will take a 10 per cent pay cut .

Dee Forbes standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: Cut: RTÉ’s director general Dee Forbes spoke to staff on Thursday about measures to tackle the station’s cash problems. Photo: David Conachy © INM Cut: RTÉ’s director general Dee Forbes spoke to staff on Thursday about measures to tackle the station’s cash problems. Photo: David Conachy

Some of RTÉ's best-known broadcasters and senior staff are said to be fuming at having to take a pay cut or wage freeze in a bid to ease the company's cash crisis.

While its 10 highest earners are in line for a 15pc reduction in salary, there will also be a raft of hard-hitting initiatives for those on more modest salaries, including pay freezes and tiered wage reductions.

In a move being strenuously opposed by the unions, some 200 jobs are also being targeted in a bid to save the company €30m over the next two years.

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There was immediate panic among the RTE management who had planned on spending the next six days until the scheduled staff briefing preparing and Accusations and suspicions flew between the executives and the RTÉ board, which is legally responsible for the broadcaster and which has not

MORE THAN 100 RTÉ staff have told the company they will not accept the pay cuts agreed by the majority of employees. However, it reiterated its determination yesterday to achieve across-the-board pay reductions in order to eliminate the financial shortfall affecting the State broadcaster .

While seven of its top presenters will still continue to earn more than Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, whose salary stands at €207,590, there are countless more who say they will be "hammered" by the swingeing cuts.

"Everyone is fuming about how this is being dealt with. They're targeting the staff in order to make up a deficit that has been years in the making and still have no coherent plan on how to get out of this mess," said a source.

Ray D'Arcy wearing a suit and tie: Ray Darcy. Picture: Steve Humphreys Ray Darcy. Picture: Steve Humphreys

Broadcaster Marian Finucane said over the weekend she would "engage" in talks to take a cut to her salary after being alerted to the possible changes. The presenter earns €300,617 for her two weekend radio shows.

Ray D'Arcy recently said that he had "no problem" with taking a cut in his wages, which currently stand at €450,000 for his TV and radio show, putting him at number two on the best-paid list.

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RTÉ Director General Noel Curran has warned that the station is considering pay cuts and the cessation of Senior management in each division will also meet staff next week to brief them on the financial RTÉ is forecasting a deficit for 2012 of over €50m once restructuring costs are factored in.

The State broadcaster has revealed how its biggest stars will have their pay cut by 15 per cent as part of a Forbes said executives had delayed telling staff about the cuts for a week due to the passing of RTE legend RTE ' s mega earners including Ray D'Arcy may not have contracts renewed over cuts .

Other top presenters have yet to comment on their stance on the mooted pay cut and celebrity agent Noel Kelly, who represents several of RTÉ's biggest stars, did not comment when asked about it.

Meanwhile, director general Dee Forbes has said every national broadcaster has its "strengths and weaknesses" and they just have to work on maximising the areas where she feels they excel.

"We're incredibly strong in the news and current affairs area. I think what we have to do is really ensure that the strength we have in news and current affairs and documentaries can be emulated in other places.

"So you look at areas like drama, for example, where the Nordics have done particularly well," Ms Forbes said.

Drama and scripted comedy are highlighted as a priority in RTÉ's new strategy up to 2024 as it brings the potential for overseas sales.

But with a shift towards online consumption, RTÉ chiefs believe drama can transfer easily from traditional television.

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RTÉ STAFF are set to face pay cuts following the announcement by director general Cathal Goan that the broadcaster is facing a €68 million shortfall in advertising revenues for 2009. In a letter to staff yesterday Mr Goan said €10 million in savings must come from “personnel-related” operating costs.

RTÉ ' s Director General Noel Curran has warned that the station is considering pay cuts and the cessation of Senior management in each division will also meet staff next week to brief them on the financial RTÉ is forecasting a deficit for 2012 of over €50m once restructuring costs are factored in.

"We believe drama as a genre is hugely important for the current mode of television. It's still very strong in linear and it's very, very strong in the on-demand world," Ms Forbes told the Irish Independent.

In traditional 'linear' television programming, a schedule of shows are selected by the broadcaster and then viewed at a set time.

RTÉ 2 is to be the test in the station's attempts to drive audiences towards their online offering.

The RTÉ Player was heavily criticised by staff during a meeting with management on Thursday.

But Ms Forbes says there will be investment in the website and the strategic plan talks about "aligning" television with the on-demand service.

Live sports such as 'The Sunday Game' are to move to RTÉ One.

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