RTÉ gender pay report “not the full picture”
1 November 2017
The National Union of Journalists has called for a root and branch review of employment practices and procedures in RTÉ, following today’s publication of Kieran Mulvey’s report into the gender pay gap in the organisation.
Through no fault of Kieran Mulvey, former head of the Workplace Relations Committee, the report does not give a “full picture” of the situation in RTE, said Séamus Dooley, NUJ Irish Secretary. He said:
“This was a wasted opportunity because of the limited terms of references given to Kieran Mulvey. The terms of reference excluded examination of those engaged on self-employed contracts or engaged through external companies. RTÉ requires many journalists to accept self-employed contracts; other people are allowed to establish companies and are represented by agents. You cannot comprehensively review employment in RTÉ by looking only at those on direct employment contracts.
"There is a strong gender dimension to many of the unacceptable practices – for instance only employees are entitled to paid maternity leave. Greater clarity is needed on the criteria used to offer contracts to individuals and on the use of companies.
"Trade unions at RTÉ are due to be briefed on the report. Having read the key points of the report in The Irish Times and heard them on Morning Ireland, we now expect to receive the full report and not just edited highlights. We further expect RTÉ to publish the full report, having due regard to the data protection rights of individuals. The BBC has overcome concerns over data protection and RTÉ should be able to do the same. Kieran Mulvey’s systematic examination, although limited, will be useful and we look forward to hearing his recommendations.
"The NUJ is aware of a range of inequalities in RTÉ. I believe RTÉ should appoint a diversity and inclusion officer to work with the organisation and the trade unions in developing a programme covering every aspect of the organisation’s work. There is a need for a comprehensive review of employment, recruitment and promotional procedures. This should address gender pay, the lack of diversity within the organisation and the unacceptable differential in pay between journalists working for Raidió na Gaeltachta and colleagues working through English.
"There needs to be complete transparency about how and why contracts are offered and on every aspect of pay. Equality should be at the heart of RTÉ as the public service broadcaster and not a vague aspiration. “