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Sunday, December 4, 2022

Why will a group of journalists from public RTV go on “strike”?

By: Tanja Brkić / Nova24TV.si

As announced, tomorrow, Monday, there will be a day-long strike at RTV Slovenija, and there is no end to the tension. The management of RTV Slovenia offered the strikers the possibility of mediation by the journalists’ union of RTV Slovenia, but they refused. Despite the fact that the strike is a constitutional right, the management announced that it will be carried out in accordance with the law, so according to N1, the journalists warned that the management will guarantee them only basic rights from the employment relationship, but not personal income, for the duration of the strike. And because that was not enough, for additional excitement, the authors of Utrip show launched a modified plan.

This means that a strike is an organised interruption of work at a workplace. The employer of the strikers cannot and will not obstruct the strike, but this does not mean that the strikers can disturb or hinder the employees who are doing their work during the strike. In accordance with the above, the general management has already informed all employees of the most urgent information and instructions that apply during the strike, but of course this was not to the journalists’ liking, which only further increased tensions.

As Helena Milinković from the Coordination of Journalists’ Unions announced on Twitter, on Monday, September 26th, the majority of programme creators on Television Slovenia will go on strike, so the programme will be changed. All news programmes, including TV Dnevnik and Odmevi, as well as programmes about sports and culture, will be “blacked out” on this day, the same will happen on MMC websites, and in other programmes on radio stations and regional centres, the content will be adapted to the strike. The entertainment programme will play reruns of the shows. They will go on strike at the workplaces, in the editorial offices of the Informative Programme, MMC, sports, culture and entertainment, and they will perform a minimum of public service on this day. Given their behaviour over the past few weeks and no concrete reasons given for the strike, many people on Twitter have joked about it.

Due to the strike on Monday, September 26th, 2022, RTV Slovenia will be forced to adapt, to a certain extent even shorten the programme content and adjust the programme schemes, which the management deeply regrets. At the same time, the director of TVS Uroš Urbanija expressed his thanks to all those who will take care of the professional delivery of information to the public during the strike. “The editors in charge decide what the programme will be, not @helencam. I am glad that a large number of colleagues decided to work with us. For professional @RTV_Slovenija!” wrote Urbanija.

The tension before the strike at RTV is growing, the Coordination of Journalists’ Unions of RTVS already warned two weeks ago that the management of the public service is escalating pressure and threats with disciplinary procedures against the journalists there, but they did not condemn the left-wing actions that were publicly carried out on television, and the facts, that some journalists simply did not come to work during working hours. Although the management offered them the option of mediation, they still decided to reject it and to keep the strike.

“In the management of RTV Slovenia, we are aware that the right to strike is a constitutional right that we respect, but it must be carried out in accordance with the legislation,” they wrote and explained that this means that a strike is an organised interruption of work at the workplace, which according to them, does not mean that the strikers can hinder those who are working. As Eugenija Carl wrote on Facebook, the journalists warned that they had received a message from the management, in which it is written that RTV Slovenia will only provide the strikers with basic employment rights, but not personal income, for the duration of the strike. “If part-time employees and students also join the strike, they will not receive a fee for the duration of the strike, or their fee will be reduced proportionately. This means that strike time will not be paid,” Carl wrote.

Change of authors in the creation of the show Utrip

However, since all of the above did not sufficiently upset the RTV employees, the following further caused tension, namely the changed list of authors of the show Utrip until the end of the year, as N1 wrote. According to the original list, Jasna Krljić Vreg was supposed to create the show, which is dedicated to the weekly internal political events in Slovenia, after October 15th, but now Jože Možina has appeared on the list, who has always been a thorn in the side of all employees. On October 29th, when journalist Gregor Drnovšek was supposed to produce the show, Marko Milenković was listed on the new list. On November 26th, the show Utrip was supposed to be composed by Andreja Lešnik, but the new list includes Gašper Petovar as the author of the show.

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