ABC redundancies look to total 151, including 81 from news division, as consultation enters final phase

It appears that the final number of redundancies coming out of the ABC sits at 151, of which 81 come from the news division and 55 are voluntary, according to the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA). In June, managing director David Anderson revealed that up to 250 roles were on the chopping block due to a budget shortfall.

Unions covering ABC staff – the MEAA and Community and Public Sector Union – consulted with management throughout the process, and have raised health and safety concerns about the workload for remaining staff.

The unions are in the final stages of the consultation process, after which employees whose roles have been ruled redundant can choose to enter a redeployment period. The ABC said that, as consultation is continuing, it does not yet have a final number of redundancies to confirm.

According to the ABC’s initial plans, staff impacted by the redundancies will exit the business at the end of September.

Staff were able volunteer for redundancies through an expression of interest program, enabled by the ABC’s recently-negotiated enterprise agreement, which ratified an improved redundancy process.

When announcing the redundancy round in response to the $41m budget shortfall, Anderson wrote in an email to staff: “The budget gap of $41m per annum means that, despite our best efforts, some of our services will be affected and, regrettably, there will be redundancies.

“The indexation pause announced in May 2018, effective from July 2019, applies to our operational funding. The Government booked a saving of $84m over the current triennium or $41m p.a. from FY22 in the budget papers.  Indexation funding remains on our transmission and distribution, however this is contracted over a long period of time, and we are not reducing the ABC’s transmission services over the triennium.”

Later that month, the broadcaster’s Five-Year Plan was unveiled, which involved the axing of the ABC Life brand and 7:45am radio news bulletin, among other cost-saving measures.


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