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pay cuts RTÉ staff earning over €40,000 set for pay reduction of up to 5pc under proposed deal to cut costs by €60m

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RTÉ

RTÉ staff earning over €40,000 a year are set for pay cuts ranging from 3pc to 5pc from May in a new proposed deal to cut costs by €60m.

A voluntary exit scheme will also reduce the workforce by around 60 people and is set to be announced in a few weeks.

There will also be reductions in allowances, salary protection and sick pay schemes “in line with public service levels”.

Staff leave arrangements will also be standardised.

The cuts are temporary and are to be restored “to the level that applied immediately before the agreement began after April 30, 2023”.

Management’s original target was a reduction of 200 staff but sources said the target will be partially met when 70 to 80 members from the national symphony orchestra leave the station.

Workers are now set to ballot on the deal brokered by management and the trade union group over the last few weeks.

The trade union group said in a statement that it has concluded negotiations “on the proposed temporary alterations to terms and conditions of employment”.

Talks had been suspended during the Covid-19 pandemic but recommenced recently.

“We are now in a position to put management’s revised proposals to ballot,” it said.

“While there are different views within the TUG negotiating team about the necessity for these proposals at this time, we confirm that they represent the final position of RTÉ.”

It said in negotiation with management, the union group set maintaining employment and achieving alterations to RTÉ’s original proposals as priorities.

The station aims to to reduce costs by €60m over three years.

"As the RTÉ/TUG Stability Agreement recognises upfront, RTÉ is experiencing ongoing financial difficulties that require immediate measures to ensure our continued viability,” said director general, Dee Forbes.

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“I am very conscious that measures that affect the pay and conditions of all staff are difficult, particularly at this time. But they are necessary as part of a series of measures to return RTÉ to a sustainable financial position. I believe the measures are proportionate and fair and crucially, as the agreement states, they reflect RTÉ’s continued commitment to the principles of protecting employment, content and output."

RTÉ said in a statement that the proposed “stability agreement” aimed to improve its financial stability.

“While Covid-19 has had a significant impact on RTÉ revenues, and some costs, the financial challenges facing RTÉ remain acute,” it said.

“These challenges must continue to be addressed if RTÉ is to continue to play an important role as Ireland's public service media and provide vital news, information, entertainment and support to the public.”

The proposed deal would begin on May 1 this year and remain in force until April 30, 2023.

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