Digital Desk Staff
RTÉ staff have rejected proposed pay cuts and changes to work practices designed to save the broadcaster €8.3m.
A total of 87 per cent of those polled on whether to accept or reject them voted against the measures, which are part of a three-year cost-saving plan designed to save €60m.
As the Irish Examiner reports, the broadcaster wants to slash wages by between 3.5 per cent and 5.35 per cent, and reduce allowances of those earning more than €40,000 a year.
The cuts would have lasted for two years starting on May 1st, but would then be restored.
As well as launching a voluntary exit programme seeking 60 to 70 job cuts, RTÉ wants to slash paid sick leave entitlements and drop self-certified sick leave from five days a year to seven over two years.
RTÉ News has reported that those earning between €40,000 and €70,000 would lose up to 3.35 per cent of their gross pay, with that figure rising for those in higher brackets. Staff earning over €100,000 would see cuts of between 4.35 per cent and 5.35 per cent, depending on their salaries.
In a statement issued on Wednesday evening, the RTÉ trade union group (TUG) said: “The RTÉ Trade Union Group notes the result of the ballot on the proposed RTÉ/TUG Stability Agreement with 87 per cent against and 13 per cent in favour.
“The proposals have been overwhelmingly rejected by members across all unions.
The clear message is that these proposals are now off the table. Staff will not accept a pay cut and RTÉ management must reflect on that reality.
“Our members have not had a general pay increase for 13 years,” the group stated.
According to RTÉ News, RTÉ is “disappointed”. It said the broadcaster will now have to consider other options as to how best to “make necessary savings while continuing to protect programming and retain jobs”.
In February this year, RTÉ director general Dee Forbes said in an email to staff that cuts were “necessary to return RTÉ to a sustainable financial position”.
She said: “I believe the measures are proportionate and fair and crucially, they reflect RTÉ’s continued commitment to the principles of protecting employment, content and output.
“RTÉ is experiencing ongoing financial difficulties that require immediate measures to ensure our continued viability. All media is going through a period of profound change and RTÉ is no different.”