While the decision to keep RNZ Concert playing on FM has been welcomed by staff, they are in no mood to celebrate yet with 18 workers still set to lose their jobs.
"This announcement is promising," says Public Service Association National Secretary Glenn Barclay, "but we need a lot more information before we know what the future of the station will be and whether our members jobs are secure."
Management plans to gut Radio NZ Concert and sack 18 staff were met with a groundswell of public opposition, and the PSA says it’s time to keep up the pressure.
Presenters, audio technicians and producers were shocked and angered when told last week they would be kicked to the curb as part of the RNZ Board’s plan to focus on ‘younger audiences’.
"It’s not hard to imagine how upsetting it is to be told your job is on the chopping block. These workers have given decades of their lives to Radio New Zealand, and are internationally respected experts in everything from classical music to radio broadcasting itself," says PSA National Secretary Glenn Barclay.
"We also need to remember that the proposals are about more than Radio NZ Concert and there are other music staff within RNZ who are currently scheduled to lose their jobs."
"We do not accept this proposal is in the best interests of the station, its staff or the New Zealand public, and we do not believe it properly reflects the values outlined in the Radio New Zealand Charter."
Many prominent public figures have thrown their weight behind the campaign to save RNZ Concert, a major legal challenge has been proposed and the Prime Minister herself has voiced frustration.
In the wake of the decision to keep RNZ Concert on FM the PSA calls on those who care about this issue to keep campaigning in defence of the presenters, producers and technicians who keep the shows on air.
"There’s been a lot of discussion about things like how switching from FM to AM will reduce audio quality, or about whether it’s sensible for RNZ to try and enter an already crowded youth radio market in the age of Spotify and online podcasts," says Mr Barclay.
"We want everyone to also remember there are 18 people right now who are stressed, hurt and unsure what the future holds for them. And it’s not just them affected, it’s their family, loved ones and friends. If you care about keeping the shows you love on air, you should also care whether the people who make these shows keep their jobs."
PSA members at Radio New Zealand will meet tomorrow afternoon to discuss the situation and plan a response.