Press Release

Trade Unions in RTÉ concerned about possible cut to services

Date Released: 24 April 2018

The Trade Union Group which represents unions at RTÉ has called on the Government to ensure RTÉ’s Orchestras are retained within the National Broadcaster.

The call responds to a review commissioned by RTÉ, which recommends that the National Symphony Orchestra should be withdrawn from RTÉ and made part of a new cultural institution.

TUG Chairperson Shirley Bradshaw said the proposed removal of the Symphony Orchestra from RTÉ is a cut to services which undermines the role of the national broadcaster and its contribution to culture.

Shirley Bradshaw said, “Already RTÉ made a very regrettable decision to cut jobs in its Young People’s department, the outsourcing of jobs to the private sector has undermined RTÉ already, handing over responsibility for the Symphony Orchestra is another step in that direction and it should be a huge concern to fans of music and supporters of a strong public service Broadcaster”.

The TUG Chairperson said, “We welcome the recommendation in the review that both orchestras should be fully staffed and resourced, something unions have been calling for over recent years as management failed to fill a range of vacancies. However, we would like that RTÉ, as the public service broadcaster with a cultural remit receives the support it needs to achieve that”.

Ironically the review does paint a very positive picture for the National Symphony and Concert Orchestras, in fact since 2007 attendances at Concert Orchestra events has increased by more than 50%, a fact recorded in the Boaden Review, Shirley Bradshaw said, “60% of people surveyed during the review supported the orchestras, and more than a third had attended a performance by one of the RTÉ Orchestras, this is an indication of the esteem and respect people have for our orchestras”.

The Trade Union Group has said if the RTÉ Board decides this week to support the recommendation that the Symphony Orchestra should be removed and setup in a new cultural institution it will be undermining its own strength and place in Irish society.


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