DM 2021: Broadcasting

  • 21 May 2021

Funding for RTÉ. Support for fair funding for S4C

Conference was told about the grave financial crisis at RTÉ in a composite motion from the Irish Executive Council and Irish Eastern, which noted the refusal of successive governments to provide adequate funding for the Irish broadcaster, and the refusal to reform the outmoded licence fee collection system.

Employees in RTÉ, have not received a pay increase in over a decade and conference supported the RTÉ chapel and its opposition to enforced cuts in wages and terms and conditions of employment and to measures undermining the position of vulnerable freelance workers employed across the organisation. 

“The public interest is best served by a plurality of media, including public serving broadcasting which is not exclusively reliant on adverting revenue. The undermining of public service broadcasting in Ireland is part of a global pattern of attacks on public interest journalism,” said the motion.

Conference agreed to:

  • Step up its campaign in defence of quality public servicing broadcasting in the UK and Ireland;
  • Build the broadest support for a “hands off our public service broadcaster” campaign;
  • Continue to demand that free television licences for the over-75s are fully funded by the British government, as the welfare benefit they were intended to be, and campaign for that to be an argument made in the next BBC Charter negotiation;
  • Resist all and any political interference in the BBC;
  • Campaign for better transparency and a reframed management structure and flatter pay structure at the BBC, with worker representation on the management board.

Conference also supported a Welsh Executive Council motion in support of “a fair financial settlement to adequately fund S4C and to give the Welsh Government a crucial voice in setting the requirements in for English language programmes in Wales in both the next BBC Charter and the next Channel 3 licence for Wales”.

A motion from Nottingham branch which instructed the union to call for a parliamentary inquiry into the viability of the remaining Local TV was carried. The motion noted the ill thought out policy had wasted millions of pounds  taken from the BBC's licence fee revenue.

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