Staff warned RTE will not im­prove re­dun­dancy deal

Work­force urged to con­sider pack­age on of­fer ahead of dead­line next week, writes Sa­man­tha Mc­caugh­ren

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE -

RTE has warned staff that a bet­ter re­dun­dancy pack­age will not be of­fered by the com­pany amid con­cerns that some staff were hold­ing out for im­proved terms.

The broad­caster is seek­ing 250 re­dun­dan­cies as part of a plan to re­struc­ture the com­pany, fol­low­ing losses of €20m in a wors­en­ing ad­ver­tis­ing mar­ket.

How­ever, there are con­cerns among man­age­ment that take-up will be lower than re­quired and it has is­sued a state­ment to staff ahead of the dead­line for ap­pli­ca­tions to the scheme.

Eimear Cu­sack, di­rec­tor of HR at RTE, said in a note to staff: “As you know, both the vol­un­tary exit and early re­tire­ment pro­grammes close next Tues­day.

“You’ll also know that the schemes form an es­sen­tial part of RTE’S re­struc­tur­ing plans as we tran­si­tion to a smaller, leaner and more ef­fi­cient or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“We re­main avail­able to you un­til Tues­day close of busi­ness should you re­quire any fur­ther in­for­ma­tion.

“A num­ber of you have asked whether any fu­ture schemes will of­fer im­proved terms; I can con­firm that they will not,” she said.

In the past, im­proved schemes have been of­fered when take-up is low. But the po­lit­i­cal mood means that RTE is not in the po­si­tion to re­vise its deal up­wards.

As first re­vealed in this news­pa­per, RTE’S planned re­dun­dancy scheme was seen as too gen­er­ous by the Depart­ment of Pub­lic Ex­pen­di­ture and Re­form, which sug­gested it ex­am­ine other pub­lic sec­tor schemes with lesser terms.

Al­though the terms are tighter than pre­vi­ous RTE schemes, it is be­lieved that av­er­age pay-outs will top €80,000 while the exit deals for the best­paid will run well into six fig­ures.

It is un­der­stood that RTE de­fended the scheme, which is to be capped at two years’ salary, ar­gu­ing that it needed to make an at­trac­tive of­fer to em­ploy­ees in or­der to achieve the re­dun­dancy num­bers it is seek­ing.

It is par­tic­u­larly tar­get­ing the over 55s, many of whom are on de­fined ben­e­fit pen­sions and are among the best paid in the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

RTE would need to get well over 250 ap­pli­cants to meet its tar­gets as not all who ap­ply will be ac­cepted for the pro­gramme.

RTE was badly hit by the Brexit vote as a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of its ad­ver­tis­ing comes from Uk-based agen­cies. The cur­rent fi­nan­cial year will also de­liver a deficit. The or­gan­i­sa­tion will fund the re­dun­dancy pro­gramme through the sale of a por­tion of its Don­ny­brook cam­pus in Dublin to Cairn Homes for €107.5m.

RTE di­rec­tor gen­eral Dee Forbes is seek­ing 250 re­dun­dan­cies at the na­tional broad­caster

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