RTÉ Urged To Reverse Department Closure Decision

RTÉ has been urged to reverse its decision to close its Young Peoples Department.

It follows an announcement by the broadcaster that it would close the department and source all its programming for children and young people from the independent sector.

The RTÉ Trade Union Group (TUG) has called on the public broadcaster to withdraw its unilateral decision to close Department.

The TUG said that it rejects the proposition that this is a legitimate or necessary strategy and described it as an attack on the fundamental principle of Public Service Broadcasting.

TUG Chair, Shirley Bradshaw, said: "RTÉ announced this decision last night. It came as a bolt out of the blue and was made without any consultation with trade unions. There is no justification for the manner in which this decision was taken and this cavalier attitude to unions and staff only compounds the bad decision."

The TUG has requested an urgent meeting with the senior management of RTÉ.

Labour Party Senator Kevin Humphreys also called on RTE management to reconsider it's "abrupt decision".

Deputy Humphreys said: "We all have fond memories of Zig and Zag, Dustin, Mary Fitzgerald, Ray D'Arcy and the great in-house domestically produced programming that entertained generations of Irish children."

"The shock announcement yesterday that RTE would close the Young People's Department means up to 15 contract staff will find themselves unemployed in the run up to Christmas."

"Like many I was taken aback that such a fundamental aspect of public service broadcasting is now being outsourced."

"RTE should rethink this sudden decision to close down a vital part of it's inhouse programming."

"I have written to the Chair of the Oireachtas Communications Committee to ask that RTE management be brought back in to explain this decision, and outline why it was announced so suddenly just after their appearance on Tuesday."

"I also believe that the Trade Union Group in RTE should be invited in to the Committee."


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