IBA logo 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy of IBA)
The implementation of proposed reforms in the Israel Broadcasting Authority,
which have been on the agenda for more than 20 years, will begin on December 1,
the IBA executive announced Tuesday.
In August, the IBA, the Prime
Minister’s Office, the Treasury and the Israel Lands Administration signed a
finance agreement, but it would not go into effect before the removal of certain
obstacles – including a Knesset amendment to the law on broadcasting levies; the
Industry, Trade and Labor minister signing wage agreements; and the Knesset
Finance Committee’s approval of the budget for financing the reforms.
recent weeks, the IBA’s executive and institutions have been working hard to
overcome the difficulties, the last of which was the removal of a condition the
Israel Lands Administration had imposed regarding vacating the IBA’s sprawling
Tel Aviv studios.
As of December 1, the broadcasting authority will enter
into new wage agreements, employees will punch a time clock, the authority will
find a way to work out payments it owes employees, and the style of management
will change to suit the current communications market.
The process will
begin with the voluntary retirement of employees who would rather jump than be
pushed, after which there will be dismissals among those who stay, with the aim
of reducing the work force by 700 employees – a 40-percent cut in manpower. At
the same time, the IBA will begin to invest more in technology, local
productions and archive preservation.
Nearly all of this has been
promised repeatedly in the past, and hundreds of IBA employees were in limbo for
years, unsure if or when the axe would fall. The essential difference this time
is that a date has been proposed, though until that date arrives, there is still
no guarantee that the reforms will go through.
While the Jerusalem
Journalists Association welcomed the announcement, its chairman, Danny Zaken,
pointed out in a letter to IBA director-general Yoni Ben- Menachem that the
reforms could not go ahead without the executive sitting down with union
representatives to clarify the conditions under which employees would be
dismissed and any possible alterations to the list of employees slated for
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