RTÉ government funding a welcome reprieve
The National Union of Journalists has welcomed an announcement that the government will provide interim funding for RTÉ.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar confirmed today that the Cabinet has approved interim funding for RTÉ up until the end 2024. This is understood to include €16 million in interim funding along with €40 million next year.
Séamus Dooley, NUJ Irish secretary, said the announcement of interim funding for next year was “a welcome reprieve" but added the government needs to expedite proposals for long term funding of public service broadcasting in Ireland.
"This announcement represents an important step in restoring stability to RTÉ. RTÉ now seems assured of funding for next year and that is a very welcome development following the dramatic decline in revenue from the license fee.
"It comes on the day when RTÉ has announced plans to cut staff by 400 over a five year period as part of its strategy for the future of the station."
Commenting on the announcement Dooley said:
"The RTÉ trade union group met the director general today. We welcome his assurance that there will be no compulsory redundancies. A 20 per cent cut in staffing levels is an ambitious target and the NUJ is seeking clarification of the impact of these proposals.
"We are gravely concerned at the scale of the proposed redundancies and will require detailed information on how it is proposed to maintain core services and the impact on staff of such drastic proposals.
"Against the backdrop of an investigation into the last Voluntary Redundancy Programme, staff will be very sceptical about a new programme. Staff want to see evidence of a genuine, sustainable long term plan based on clearly defined objectives.
"It is vital the government provides clarity on long term funding for public service broadcasting. To date there has not been a sense of urgency and RTÉ workers are now being asked to pay the price for poor corporate governance and lack of political direction."