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NPTU to reduce massively staff of its regional branches

16.01.2020, 18:18
Photo credit: radiosvoboda.org
Photo credit: radiosvoboda.org

The Central Directorate of the National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine (NPTU) has submitted to the branches a new staff list, which lists reduced number of staff positions than it currently has in the regions, as “Detektor Media” reported citing its sources of information.

As “Detektor Media” could learn, they prepare some staff reduction in the regional branches. Some of them have to cut down almost 50% of positions, from 90 to 43-47 positions. They have to reduce the number of staff in branches that have editions of national minority languages ​​(according to the concept of regional broadcasting of PJSC "NSTU " for 2020-2021, such as "UA: Transcarpathia", "UA: Odessa" and "UA: Bukovina" ), and the combined Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts, which broadcasts into the controlled and temporarily occupied territories of “UA: Donbass”. It is also known that the new staff list includes 116 employees on “UA: Donbass”  channel, 23 less than today.

Currently, there are 1950 people employed at NPTU's branches. Considering that some branches have 50% fewer employees in the new staffing lists, and some will have a insignificant reduction or, conversely, the extension of national minority languages, on average, all branches will cut 44% of employees and in the regions will stay working more than one thousand employees.

Due to new staffing list at the Public Broadcaster, the Kirovograd Regional Organization of the Trade Union of Professionals in the sphere of culture published an appeal to the members of the NSTU Supervisory Board on Facebook . The signatories expressed their concerns about the possible change in the staffing of the branches.

"The Supervisory Board is requested to pay its attention to the fact that the massive reduction of the branch employees in 2018 happened in a similar pattern: first, the staffing list was changed and then those who did not enter the new structure unit were reduced," – they said in the open letter.

The Kirovograd Regional Organization of the Professionals in the Sphere of Culture Union proposed:

“1. To invite the representatives of the main administration, the Council of Europe, branches, trade unions, National Union of Journalists, public boards in the regions for public discussion of changes at the meeting of the Supervisory Board. To provide information on the level and formula of staff changes in the main administration. To publish the items of expenditure of the Central Directorate for two years from 2018.

  1. To make public the financial, legal and substantive justification for the staff reduction in regional broadcasting, and to provide clarification as to significant change in genre distribution.
  1. To provide a clear formula for allocating resources from the Public Broadcaster’s budget to the production of additional content by its branches, since the procedure is not transparent and does not guarantee the participation of all regions.
  1. To review the salary levels of the top management of the company, especially considering the unsolved issues of increasing the salaries of the ordinary staff.”

One should recall that in October 2017, the number of full-time positions in the entire broadcasting company was 7318,25. In December 2017, NSTU had 6900 employees. In April 2018, the company had 4087 full-time positions.

According to Zurab Alasania's strategy which won the competition in 2017, the modernization of technical equipement and technologies had to reduce the number of employees to 3810-3900 (683 of them are in the system of news broadcasting nationwide).

At that time, Zurab Alasania supposed such a staff structure: "UA: Regions" - 1900-1950 (140-150 in eight or nine branches, 30-35 in 17 CM offices). UR1, Promin, Cultura: 350–360, News House (news coverage, total number across Ukraine) : 683, UA: Pershyy: 650–670, UA: Cultura: 110–115.

In October 2019, it became known that morning programs would cease its existence in the branches.

In December 2019, NPTU said that they are preparing an updated concept of morning broadcasting in the regions. The working group was to be headed by Artem Shelkov, producer of the Chernihiv branch of NPTU. In January 2020, he refused to move to Kiev and work on a morning program. According to NPTU, the board member Mykola Chernotitsky is in charge of the group's work and developing a new concept for morning broadcasting.

The regional branches began protesting against the closure of the morning programs and some editorial staff of morning programs resigned. In particular, on December 20, the last broadcast of the morning show “Donbas lite” came out on the regional channel of Public Broadcasting "UA: Donbass ". The entire staff of the morning live sent letter of resignation.

On December 27, 2019, the last program of ”Kyiv Morning” program was broadcast on the regional channel of Public Broadcasting “UA: Kyiv”. The contract of the program team was terminated and not renewed.

After the resignation of its production teams, "UA: Donbass" and "UA: Kyiv" rebroadcast its previous editions.

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