SIPTU members employed in RTÉ, where it is the largest union organising over 700 members of staff, have called on its former Director General to respect the public and attend upcoming Oireachtas hearings concerning the hidden payments scandal at the broadcaster. SIPTU Organiser, Martin Mannion, said: “Our members in RTÉ are calling for respect to be shown to the public, the main funders of the organisation, by all senior management at the station past and present. Unless there is an acceptable reason our members believe the recently resigned Director General, Dee Forbes, should respect the Oireachtas and the public by attending all hearings for which her presence is requested. “SIPTU represents workers in the station covering numerous grades including broadcast co-ordinators, camera people, production assistants and producers. Many SIPTU members are low paid and in recent years have been under extreme financial pressure, which has affected their health and wellbeing. They have been further undermined by the extent of the scandal involving senior management and very highly paid broadcasters that has been unfolding over the last few days.  “What has been revealed in recent days concerning the lack of transparency, and possibly worse, concerning operations of senior management at the public broadcaster confirms some of the fears about conduct at the station which have long been held by many of our members. It is now affecting the future of their workplace. Senior management needs to respect these workers, upon whom they enforced cost cutting and real terms salary reduction programmes over an extended period.  “They must answer all the outstanding questions swiftly and truthfully so a normal working environment can be restored at the station. Any undue delays in this process place further pressure and uncertainly upon our hardworking members.” He added: “A culture change is needed at the national broadcaster. The terms of reference of the external inquiry into its operations must extend to a full investigation into its involvement with third parties in relation to commercial deals and the employment of agency staff.  “It is our belief that many low paid workers have been exploited at the national broadcaster. A new culture must been promoted which aligns with the promotion of best practice in terms of transparency and workers’ rights.”