By: L. K. F., RTV Slovenija
On September 9th, 2022, the general director of RTV Slovenia, Andrej Grah Whatmough, submitted a formal proposal to the union negotiating parties for the inclusion of a mediator in the negotiation process for concluding a strike agreement.
The management of RTV Slovenia announced today that since June, negotiations for the conclusion of a strike agreement have been taking place at the public institution RTV Slovenia, in which representatives of the management of RTV Slovenia and the strike committee of the RTV journalists’ unions participate: “The employer always strives to conclude the negotiations successfully, but after more than three months, he estimates that the two negotiating parties have reached an impasse. In the light of solving the pressing problem, the management therefore proposes mediation to the strikers.”
If the strike committee agrees, the mediator will first conduct an in-depth interview with both parties in the dispute, carry out a thorough analysis of the situation, and obtain the consent of both parties to start the mediation process. All mediation procedures will be carried out in accordance with the Mediation Act. The employer proposes that the mediator participate in the next negotiations to conclude a strike agreement and present in more detail the mediator’s work and his role in the procedure. The confederation of journalists’ unions, however, continues to intensify. “Today is the 110th day of the strike, the situation is even tougher today after the 12th round of negotiations. We got nowhere with the strike negotiations, we are still at the first line of the first strike demand, which is journalistic, editorial, and institutional autonomy,” said the president of the Confederation of Journalists’ Unions of RTV Slovenia, Helena Milinković. According to her, the management, instead of resolving the situation that led to the strike, prefers to intensify pressure on individual editors, journalists, and other programme creators, engage in bullying, mobbing, and interfere with editorial and journalistic work.
The director of TV Slovenija Uroš Urbanija replied to the accusations that he is not aware of the reports, nor is he aware of the pressures on television. “If they present me with specific cases, of course we will take immediate action as necessary,” Urbanija responded to Radio Slovenia. He emphasised that as a director, he has a duty to respond when anyone insults his colleagues.
According to him, the management does not interfere with journalistic work. “If we intervened, we would have concrete examples here today of where, when, why, but because there is none, these are obviously just flat-out accusations without real arguments,” said the director, adding that the unions are actually putting pressure on journalistic work. According to Urbanija, pressure from trade unions on television editors, with which they try to influence the content, is unacceptable.