The ABC has delayed planned job cuts that were scheduled to be announced later this month, due to the increased workload caused by the Corona Virus.
In a memo to staff, Managing Director David Anderson wrote:
As you are aware the Leadership Team and I had intended to announce the ABC’s new Five-Year Plan by the end of this month along with our response to the Government’s indexation pause.
I think you will agree with me when I say that the current situation with COVID-19 means our focus must be on the welfare of all of you and our role as a public broadcaster in providing the community with timely and credible information in this challenging time for our country.
For this reason, I’m sure you will understand my decision to postpone the announcement until we are through this period and we can return to normal levels of activity. Your patience and professionalism are, as always, greatly appreciated.
I will come back to you with more information on the Five-Year Strategy announcement as soon we have returned to normal levels of activity.
The five-year plan was expected to include about 200 job losses after an extensive review of television, radio and online operations, in response to what the ABC says is underfunding of $84 million in its budget.
The Community and Public Sector Union’s ABC spokesperson Sinddy Ealy has welcomed the news:
“This is a good decision for ABC staff who are doing their utmost best to keep ABC services up and running for the community during this difficult time, and an important decision for the country. As increased fear and panic start to grip our communities during this health crisis, the majority of Australians are turning to the ABC for accurate information. They did this during the fires and they are doing it now with the coronavirus pandemic.”