Berlin / Cologne (dpa) – After Saxony-Anhalt blocked the increase in the broadcasting allowance by 86 cents to 18.36 euros, the first consequences become clear with the public broadcaster.
Deutschlandradio has made use of a special right to terminate the current collective labor agreements, the public broadcaster confirmed at the request of the German news agency. Director Stefan Raue emphasized: “The termination of the current collective labor agreement is unfortunately a necessary measure for Deutschlandradio, which demands a lot from the employees.”
The German Association of Journalists (DJV) criticized the move. Federal Chairman Frank Überall told the DPA: “That could lead to a pioneering role that could lead to a major fire.”
In December, contrary to the wishes of all other countries, the government of Saxony-Anhalt blocked the increase in the license fee for radio in Germany from EUR 17.50 per month to EUR 18.36 on January 1, 2021. ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio immediately sued the Federal Constitutional Court. Urgent applications were rejected by the court before the end of the year; there is still no decision on the main issue.
According to Deutschlandradio, the termination of the current collective labor agreements means that there will be no wage increase by 2.25 percent in April. The collective agreements actually run until the end of March 2022. Currently, 725 permanent employees work full-time and part-time at Deutschlandradio – this corresponds to 640 full-time positions. There are also 685 employee-type employment relationships and between 5,000 and 6,000 paid freelancers. The main locations are Berlin and Cologne.
Deutschlandradio has decided on further episodes. For example, the expansion of the DAB + transmitter network is interrupted or postponed. According to its own statements, the broadcaster has decided to use such adjustment screws to prevent possible cuts in the program and to safeguard the operational process. The focus was on measures that can be implemented in the short term. Raue emphasized that the decision-making priority was that, until a decision of the Federal Constitutional Court in the main proceedings was taken, it would not take any steps “that would have significantly affected the mandate of the program”.
The federal chairman of DJV Überall emphasized on the public broadcaster: “The decision of the Federal Constitutional Court causes great uncertainty, both among permanent freelancers and permanent employees.” The DJV feared that broadcasters would hold “big jokes” that would “have a negative effect on the program and the staff.”
Everywhere, who also works as a freelancer for Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), warned that jobs for the freelancers could be lost and that jobs could also be cut. “Doing this on the back of the employees is the wrong way for me.”
According to its own information, the DJV currently has no concrete signs of possible job losses. Everywhere argued for broadcasters to continue to fulfill their mandate as a public broadcaster and to close this year with a minus if necessary.