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Give up RTT Days Off for Free? Just say NO!

Tuesday 26 May 2015

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Four hours of negotiations on vacation time, reduced working-time days off (RTTs) and working hours on May 20 confirmed that management’s main objective is to make savings on the company’s wage bill by reducing the number of days off without providing us anything substantive in return.
When confronted by our questions about working hours, night shifts, overtime pay and weekend duty, management remained vague. Only several points are clear in the Hoog Plan:

  • Fix the number of vacation days at 44 per year for everyone;
  • Introduce a seniority leave for all employees: 2 days after 5 years working for AFP, 4 days after 10 years, 6 days after 15 years;
  • Eliminate the 18 RTTs for journalists working on desks and the 14 RTTs of workers and employees. Reporting journalists would get to keep 7 RTTs, as would non-journalist white-collar “cadres”.

Say it isn’t so! Stripping RTTs from desk journalists and other employees will certainly not help to improve work conditions. It will only help save money that we’ll never see. [1]
The table below, which SUD presented at the Works Council on May 22, shows the slow deterioration in HQ-status staffing levels at AFP:

The accords on the 35 hour work week and RTTs allowed for the creation of 79 headquarters jobs, including 50 journalist posts. The table shows that more than half of those posts (42) have since disappeared. Even if the number of headquarters journalists has only dropped slightly, new services like video (AFPTV) and multimedia have been launched, meaning staff levels in traditional services have been slowly whittled down. And in fact these new services have mostly been built up abroad — AFP’s version of offshoring jobs. Now the Hoog Plan is trying to bring a bit of the low-cost model home.

The Hoog Plan will neither improve working conditions nor increase our purchasing power. It is built upon the premise that we give and management takes. As such it erodes the value of AFP’s greatest asset: its staff.

Hoog Plan – Just say NO!

On the same subject, see our statement in French: "Le temps de travail à l’AFP, parlons-en !" – 4-pages SUD, décembre 2013 : http://u.afp.com/S8E

[1see our statement Wages: We Give, Management Takes