ABC reportedly offers permanent roles to over 350 casuals

Former Assistant Editor
ABC Sydney

The ABC has offered permanent positions to over 350 casual staff as it prepares to cut 250 jobs as the national broadcaster’s five-year strategic plan.

Managing director David Anderson said a flagship radio news bulletin would go, the ABC Life lifestyle portal would be rebranded, and programs would be reviewed as part of a major overhaul.

Anderson said the flagship 7:45am radio news bulletins would end, and be replaced by a five-minute bulletin at 8:00am. A 10-minute bulletin at 7:00am will remain.

The Age reports hundreds of casual employees could soon become permanent, despite the 250 redundancies set to take place before the end of June.

Those jobs will be scrapped following a budget freeze from the Morrison Government, and are believed to be spread across the ABC’s national news, entertainment, specialist and regional content divisions.

ABC sources told The Age the broadcaster’s strategic plan could be unveiled as early as Wednesday.

The news comes just days after the ABC confirmed that it had back-paid over $12 million to over 1,900 current and former casual workers and entered into an Enforceable Undertaking.

“The ABC conducted a review of all its temporary staff, which as opposed to just casuals included those on fixed term, specific task, run of show as well as casual arrangements, to determine if there was an ongoing need and role available to them,” said an ABC spokesperson.

“This was done in line with changes to legislation regarding the nature of true casual employment.”

According to Sinddy Ealy, ABC section secretary of the Community and Public Sector Union, many of the casuals have been offered permanent positions because they had worked regular shifts.

“I have some sympathy, but I also step back and say it’s not good enough,” said Ealy “Having your funding chronically reduced by the government is not an excuse for underpaying your employees.”


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