The VRT to cut staff numbers by 215 maximum

The board of directors of the Flemish public broadcaster VRT approved a new austerity plan on Monday evening. This will now have to be discussed with trades unions. The new VRT CEO Paul Lembrechts held an information session to inform staff of the plans today.

The restructuring operation can be spread over 4.5 years and should be finished by the end of 2020. Depending on how many staff will be prepared to work part-time on voluntary basis, between 170 and 215 jobs will be axed to cut costs as was asked by the Flemish government. This figure is down on earlier figures which mentioned 286 employees.

The management hopes that 70 to 80 percent of the redundancies can be achieved by people who are retiring or leaving on a voluntary basis. The VRT runs on public funding, but will have to cope with 30 million less by 2020.

To prepare for the future, the VRT will focus on building a strong digital platform (among other things). 50 new people will be hired in this respect. The VRT workforce included a total of 2,216 FTE's last year. This means that some 10 percent of the workforce will be made redundant.