Death by a thousand cuts for ABC staff

The ABC has today announced over 250 job cuts as part of the new Managing Director’s Five-Year Plan. This plan will hit Australian content creators hard, as well as see an end to flagship ABC programs.

The union representing ABC staff, the CPSU, is calling on the government to halt its $84 million funding freeze to the ABC and to commit to a five-year ABC funding model.

Since 2014 the ABC has cut over 1100 jobs, due to continued budget cuts. These latest cuts are not related to COVID-19, instead they are a direct result of the $84 million funding freeze to the ABC.

These cuts will affect technology, news, entertainment, specialist, and local teams. They will have major impacts on content makers and specialist teams, stripping seniority and experience from the organisation.

Today’s announcement will see the ABC cut; the ABC comedy channel, the flag ship 7.45am News radio broadcast, and the ABC life website. Local content will also be hit hard with a $5 million cut to independent production. This means less Australian drama and content on our screens.

CPSU ABC Section Secretary Sinddy Ealy today said, “The ABC has already endured over 1100 staff cuts, and today’s announcement will have real implications for remaining staff and workloads.”

“The ABC needs funding certainty, that why we are backing the ABC Board’s call for a 5-year funding commitment.”

“Everyone can see that the media and arts industries have been hit hard by COVID-19, and they need the ABC to assist in the recovery. Cutting jobs now is utter madness. A good government would be investing in more ABC jobs to support Australia’s economic and industry recovery.”

“The ABC has delivered through all major crises of this year. The ABC has provided in some cases lifesaving information throughout the droughts, fires and now a health pandemic. It is clear that Australia needs a strong ABC now more than ever.”