NUJ sounds warning note on RTÉ strategic plan

  • 25 Jun 2024

The union said RTÉ’s strategic plan, New Direction, will present many challenges for staff at RTÉ and must be subject to intense scrutiny and negotiation.

The strategy was presented to staff today by Kevin Backhurst, director general, along with a new corporate governance framework and implementation plan, the organisation’s response to the report of the government-appointed expert groups.

Séamus Dooley, Irish Secretary, said the NUJ, in common with sister unions in the RTÉ Group of Unions,  would be taking time to scrutinise the proposals but expressed grave reservations at the approach taken by the Director General and the RTÉ board to the future of the organisation. He said:

“The past 12 months have been extremely traumatic for staff at RTÉ.  The litany of corporate governance failures combined with political inaction on funding has left staff demoralised.  While we would welcome a new direction there are very real concerns about the long-term future of employment within RTÉ.  A ‘transformed RTÉ’, to use the language of the strategy, should not be predicated on such a heavy reliance on the effective outsourcing of signature programmes.

“The expert group on HR acknowledged that employee relations in RTÉ are at a suboptimal level.   A number of key measures to address fundamental issues relating to HR must be addressed as a matter of priority.

“Any negotiations on the future direction of RTÉ will have to take place in the context of existing collective agreements and will require a radical change in the management culture of the organisation. The changes in corporate governance have not been matched by a change in management style in many parts of RTÉ.”

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