After the increase in the broadcasting fee by 86 cents to 18.36 euros blocked by Saxony-Anhalt, the first consequences are becoming clear in public broadcasting. Deutschlandradio has made use of a special right to terminate the current collective agreements, as the public broadcaster confirmed at the request of dpa.
Director Stefan Raue emphasized: “The termination of the current collective 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 conflagration.”
In December, the government of Saxony-Anhalt, contrary to the wishes of all other countries, blocked the increase in the radio license fee 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.
Further austerity measures
Deutschlandradio has decided on further episodes. For example, the expansion of the DAB + transmitter network is to be interrupted or postponed. According to its own statements, the broadcaster decided to use such adjustment screws in order to avoid possible cuts in the program and to secure the operational process. The focus was on measures that could be implemented in the short term.
Raue emphasized that the priority for the decision-making was that, until a decision by the Federal Constitutional Court in the main proceedings, one did not want to adopt any steps “that would have significantly impaired the program mandate.”
Uncertainty among employees
The DJV federal chairman Überall emphasized on public broadcasting: “The decision of the Federal Constitutional Court is causing great uncertainty, both among permanent freelancers and permanent employees.” The DJV feared that the broadcasters would undertake “big orgies of pranks” that would “have a negative impact on the program and the employees”.
According to its own information, the DJV does not currently have any concrete signs of possible job cuts. Everywhere pleaded for the broadcasters to continue fulfilling their mandate as public broadcasters and, if necessary, to close with a minus this year.