While the rest of the world is celebrating the contribution of archivists, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is axing 75 jobs.
The Community and Public Sector Union, representing workers at the ABC, is calling on the ABC to put the brakes on its proposed decision to cut specialist positions across ABC Archives nationally.
These cuts will lead to over 1200 hours a week of key archival work simply stopping or being pushed onto program makers and journalist who are already overworked and dealing with chronic staff shortages.
This announcement is part of a digital restructure within the ABC, which has not consulted with any impacted staff or offices, and proposes to abolish 58 permanent positions and terminate a further 17 contract positions. Management has flagged the creation of 30 new digital roles but has not provided any details about what the new jobs will entail.
Continuous budget cuts since 2014 under the former Liberal Government, have totalled upward of $787 million. The ABC has already lost over 1350 jobs, resulting in the cutting of services, technology, language programs, news, entertainment, specialist, and local teams.
The ABC cannot continue to sack its world class specialist staff and expect to remain the nation's most trusted storyteller. These roles are integral to the day-to-day operations of the ABC and its ability to provide the nation with news and programs.
Quotes attributable to CPSU ABC Section Secretary, Sinddy Ealy:
“This proposal will see over 1200 hours a week of archival work fall by the wayside, potentially jeopardising national archival footage, music, and work. The ABC has developed this proposal before it has even consulted with program makers about what they need from the ABC Archives in order to do their work. .
“This proposal is an unfortunate example of ambitious and future-focused management being out of touch with the day-to-day running of the organisation. Frontline workers are best placed to know that automated workflows are not up and running to the level needed to avoid catastrophic loss of archival materials. The hasty decision to sack specialist staff will absolutely risk breaking stories making it to air. This proposal is tech-driven, not content-driven which is highly problematic. It does not have a realistic take on where the organization is at presently.
“The last time the ABC took a knife to its library services in 2019, it promised there would no more loss of specialist work, yet here we are. ABC staff are at the frontline of digitisation and the early uptake of technology. They always have been, but not at the expense of dumbing down content or quality like this change could see.”
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