herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

RTE's redundancy package will be 'more generous than semi-states'

RTE news anchors Bryan Dobson and Sharon Ni Bheolain
RTE news anchors Bryan Dobson and Sharon Ni Bheolain

RTE, which aims to shed 250 staff, has yet to reveal the details of its voluntary redundancy package.

But the national broadcaster insisted the terms will be less generous than the four to six weeks per year of service it offered those taking redundancy in 2011.

It is understood the severance terms at the organisation, part-funded by the licence fee, will still be more generous than those offered in recent times by other commercial semi-state companies and public sector employers.

A spokesperson said the terms of the severance scheme will be unveiled within weeks.

It is understood officials at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform warned the scheme might have a knock-on effect at other semi-State companies.

An RTE insider insisted that, although the department was entitled to give its opinion, it was up to the broadcaster to make a final decision on the package. Meanwhile, RTE has refused to release details of its gender pay gap because it could be "injurious" and "would not serve the public interest".

Breakdown

The broadcaster rejected a request by the Herald to publish details of its male and female staff's earnings in various pay brackets under Freedom of Information legislation.

However, RTE decided to bring forward the publication of what its highest-paid broadcasters were earning two years ago following recent controversy.

It has been under fire since Six One newsreader Sharon Ni Bheolain revealed she earns up to €80,000 less than her co-anchor Bryan Dobson, after the BBC published a detailed breakdown of its pay figures.

RTE journalist and chair of the NUJ's Dublin Broadcasting Branch, Emma O'Kelly, said her employer "should have nothing to fear" and release the information, which she also requested.

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