SIPTU members employed in RTÉ are committed to fighting for the future of the national broadcaster as a public institution following the announcement that the station’s management is seeking to outsource many of its key operations.

SIPTU Organiser, Martin Mannion, said: “Our members have reacted with horror and disgust at the publication today by RTÉ management of ‘A New Direction, its Statement of Strategy for 2025 to 2029’. This is not a blueprint for improving RTÉ but rather a clear move towards its privatisation and making it a publishing broadcaster, which releases outsourced productions, rather than a national broadcaster. 

“It is clear that management has learned nothing from the recent scandals involving the station. Many of these incidents of misgovernance were related to the station’s relationship with outside contractors. However, rather than seek to rectify this situation by ensuring its good governance as a public body the RTÉ management is seeking to strip it of much of its key operations by outsourcing them to the private sector.”

He added: “Our members are dismayed at this turn of events and will do everything they can to defend this key public institution as a trustworthy source of information and entertainment for the people of Ireland.”

SIPTU Services Divisional Organiser, Teresa Hannick, said: “This proposed ‘New Direction’ for the station includes 400 job losses. What we are seeing today would be the end of the national broadcaster and its replacement with a bare management structure to oversee the hiring of private companies to carry out its roles.”

She added: “What is being proposed is that the hardworking staff of RTÉ are the ones that must pay for the failings of its management which created the current crisis within the broadcaster.”

SIPTU is the largest trade union in RTÉ, including workers in Administration, Operational, Technical and Directing Grades, Musicians and Actor members of Irish Equity, which is an affiliate of SIPTU. A large proportion of these members earn less than the average industrial wage.