RTE journalist Emma O’Kelly and NUJ call on national broadcaster to close gender pay gap

An RTE journalist and the National Syndicate of Journalists have called on the national broadcaster to eliminate the gender pay gap five years after the state broadcaster’s female staff first called for action on pay inequality.

written in the current edition of NUJ’s in-house magazine ‘The Journalist’, said Emma O’Kelly, RTE Education Correspondent and Chair of NUJ’s Dublin Broadcasting Branch.

“The national broadcaster not only refuses to disclose its gender pay gap – it says it doesn’t even measure it.”

“When the women of RTÉ, Ireland’s national broadcaster, learned that An Post, the country’s postal service, had eliminated its gender pay gap, we were both inspired and angry.

“Inspired by the big step forward for women announced by an Irish public company last December, and angry that our own employer is so far behind.”

Ms O’Kelly said five years have now passed since women journalists at RTE followed their counterparts at the BBC and other outlets in “calling on our employer to uphold its publicly stated commitment to equal opportunity opportunities by addressing equal pay and women’s pay”. difference.”

“But RTÉ gives the strong impression that it has done nothing to close the gap between male and female salaries. For me and my colleagues, this is worse than nothing.”

She added that it has now been a year since the NUJ asked state television for average and median wage figures for both genders working at RTE and “after a delay of several months, we were stunned when the company told us: “We do appreciate that this is information that we will compile once the Gender Pay Gap Information Bill is enacted and implemented.

Although no date has yet been set for the implementation of the bill, she wondered “why is the broadcaster waiting for legislation when other organizations in Ireland and the UK are strive to redress the historic wage imbalance and publicize the fact?

“For the company to say it won’t measure its own gender pay gap until it has to is shocking.”

“It’s impossible to ensure equal pay and equal opportunity without compiling the data. You can’t work to solve a problem if you’re not even prepared to measure it.”

By contrast, Ms O’Kelly said An Post, ‘a semi-state organization similar in size to RTÉ, publishes annual reports on the gender pay gap and works consciously to close the gap’.

The broadcast journalist quoted his latest report published in December 2021 which “shows that he has reduced the gap from 3.7% in 2019 to just 1.4% in 2020. The difference between the average salaries of women and men now stands at 0.16%”. realization.”

Meanwhile, RTE’s trade union group Viewpoint has also written to RTE asking for information, she said.

“RTÉ staff, especially women, are eagerly awaiting the outcome. They want honesty and transparency from the broadcaster.

“If the company has nothing to hide, they say, then surely it would disclose the information voluntarily. Establishing the size of the gender pay gap does not answer all the questions. figure does not address the separate issue of equal pay for equal work, but it would be a start and would not only benefit female staff.

“Where introduced, pay transparency increases trust in an organization and confidence that it deals fairly with all. This lays the foundation for a truly diverse workforce. RTÉ is in a privileged position. As the national broadcaster, she is expected to represent the lives and interests of all Irish people,” Ms O’Kelly wrote.

A spokesperson for RTE said: “The 2017 Independent Role and Gender Equality Review found that the gender pay gap at RTÉ was around 4%, which is significantly lower than 14% for the whole economy Gender balance within our overall workforce, within roles and within our production, remains a high priority for RTÉ and we continue to engage with the union group on these and other questions.

“A comprehensive review of the structure of roles and rankings within RTÉ is underway by Willis Towers Watson to produce an updated employment and career framework for all our staff.

“In 2021, the government introduced the Gender Pay Gap Reporting Act which will create a consistent, methodical and universal approach to reporting on gender pay gaps across all jobs within the workforce. “State. RTÉ is currently focused on preparing the information necessary to comply with these new reporting requirements.”

Comments are closed.