‘At risk’ ABC staff being notified as political reporter Lyndal Curtis quits

ABC logoAround 100 staff at the ABC deemed at risk of redundancy under sweeping changes at the public broadcaster are being notified today and tomorrow, while veteran political reporter Lyndal Curtis has decided to leave after 26 years on air.

Those deemed “at risk of redundancy” of the 330 people in the skills assessment pools will then be the subject of further consultations, with only those volunteering for redundancy to be let go before Christmas.

The notifications come after the Fair Work Commission on Monday told the broadcaster to be more open in its redundancy process after two unions raised concerns about the way it was implementing cuts caused by budget reductions imposed by the government.

Today ABC bosses met with representatives from the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance and Community and Public Sector Union to answer more questions around the proposals, which have seen staff put into pools based on role and salary and subjected to skills assessments by managers.

Acting head of people Alan Sunderland sent a note to staff today clarifying the situation, saying: “Consultation continued for another four hours with unions and staff representatives. The focus was on the pools process that is currently being run, and it was a good opportunity for managers from Radio, Television, News and Marketing to once again join the discussions and deal with a range of issues and questions about the pools.

“We discussed why certain pools were set up in the way they were, who was in those pools and the selection criteria that were being used for the skills assessments. We were also able to respond (either in discussions or in writing) to most of the large number of questions the unions sent us on Friday about the process.”

Separately veteran political reporter Lyndal Curtis has elected to leave the broadcaster after 21 years, having started in commercial radio in 1988 and moving to the ABC in 1993, where she has held a range of roles including five years as ACT state editor, and more recently as political correspondent for News 24 and before that chief political correspondent for AM, PM and The World Today.

“Lyndal has covered more budgets, elections and Prime Ministers than she cares to count and she is renowned for her encyclopaedic knowledge of all matters politics,” said ABC head of news Kate Torney.

“She will be greatly missed by colleagues across the ABC – please join me in wishing Lyndal all the very best for the future.”

Alex Hayes


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