Latviski English По-русски
Monday 22.07.2019 | Name days: Marija, Marika, Marina

News Service of Latvijas Radio requests board members to step down

(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUOn Wednesday, 10 July, the News Service of Latvijas Radio detailed no trust the board of Latvijas Radio in an open letter. Members of the board have been asked to either step down or brace for dismissal.

On top of that, the News Service has asked Latvia’s National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP) to not only dismiss the board of Latvijas Radio but also avert a crisis in the media. Authors of the letter also ask Saeima committee responsible for this field to assess NEPLP competence in governance of public radio station.

Journalists of Latvijas Radio accuse the board of inaction, having no interest in a strong and independent radio and actively weakening the News Service. According to authors of the letter, the board ‘has intentionally acted in a malicious way, weakening the News Service, which plays one of the leading roles in keeping residents safe and informed’.

Authors also mention that since 2018, eight professional journalists have left the News Service. They also stress that an independent audit performed this year has shown that the workload of New Service journalists is 123%. Unfortunately, the board of Latvijas Radio has done nothing to resolve the problem with workload in different structure units of Latvijas Radio. The board also refused to increase wages for journalists.

To resolve the crisis in the News Service, it was decided to reduce content and terminate one job, which helped increase wages for remaining journalists by EUR 60 before taxes. The initial agreement reached with the board included restoring the previously closed job before the beginning of the autumn season, but the board refused, authors of the letter report.

On top of that, the board of Latvijas Radio proposed abolishing night news, which is something the News Service is not prepared to do. Additionally, Latvijas Radio’s the future of investigative programme Īstenības izteiksme is at risk.

«The News Service has stressed to the board that in a time when the situation in the world is unstable, Latvijas Radio should not limit its own capabilities of informing society of threats. On top of that, the News Service believes the board’s proposal does not inspire confidence in their desire to strengthen our country’s information space,» the letter details.

The board also offered to abolish News Service’s motivation system and divide the EUR 4 000 intended for it on wages for journalists. However, the News Service does not believe this will help resolve the wage problem, «because journalists would receive the same wages but do more work than their contracts allow».

At the same time, wages of members of the board of Latvijas Radio have grown 18% since they took office, reaching EUR 5 000 a month, authors of the letter note. The board also refused to dismiss two advisors whose wages reach several thousand euros.

«This does not represent signs of solidarity, because wages of workers in Latijas Radio was increased by an average of 8% last year, which did not return wages to their pre-crisis period, when wages were decreased by 30 – 50%,» authors of the letter say.

«At the beginning of the year, the board, misleading and reporting manipulated information to employees of Latvijas Radio, attempted to push through changes to the collective agreement that would not benefit workers. Considering NEPLP political influence, instability of boards in public media, as well as the inability to ensure financial independence for public media for years, the collective agreement is the only stable social guarantee; it also secures a strong trade union, which is a very significant guarantee of independence for public media. Among the changes the board wanted to include in the collective agreement was a point regarding taking away benefits from workers in cases when Latvijas Radio works with losses because of the board,» the letter mentions.

Authors of the letter also note that members of the board have demonstrated behaviour aimed at controlling the work of journalists and settling scored with the head of the News Service.

Leave a reply

Heavy rain expected in Latvia at week’s beginning; air temperature to reach +29° C later

The beginning of the week in Latvia will be rainy, as low atmospheric pressure and rain clouds move through Latvia. Nevertheless, at the end of the week air temperature will reach +29 C, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology.

In Ukrainian parliamentary election, win of Zelenskiy's party coming

Ukraine has held its snap parliamentary election, where, according to exit polls, Servant of the People party lead by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has won with a clear majority.

Week in Lithuania: CB denies Swedbank’s Syria links, PM Skvernelis to change some ministers

Last week, PM Saulius Skvernelis revealed that the Government mulls taxing property and polluting cars, Lithuanian Railways said it will keep contract with Latvia's Sigmen, Court disqualifies itself from Paleckis case.

BNN summary of the week: Cutting a pie. Minimal wage. Dangerous games

Is there a pleasant aroma of a fresh pie in the air? Judging by events of the past week, the tasty smell of the 2020 budget has already spread across government corridors even though the dough is not ever ready.

Latvia among Baltic States with first quarter’s highest budget deficit

In Q1 2019, the general government budget deficit ratio to GDP in Latvia was higher than the average across the EU, according to data published by Eurostat.

Latvia’s industrial producer price level up 0.4% in June

Compared to May, the level of producer prices in Latvian industry rose by 0.4 % in June 2019. Prices of products sold on the domestic market grew by 1.5 %, but prices of exported products reduced by 0.7 %.

Curious career zigzags. From shipping schemes to a warm seat in Latvian Railway

Shadow of doubt over fraud worth five million euros. Career twists with Lembergs’ approval. Secret peace treaty following Uldis Augulis’ entry to Transport Ministry. Illegal state of monopoly in the industry. What hides behind Latvian Railway chief’s «spotless» reputation?

Estonian TransferWise hires Netflix’s ex-chief financial officer

Estonian-led financial transactions start-up TransferWise has announced expansion of its board of directors with the former chief financial officer of the American online television service Netflix, David Wells.

Ukraine to reform citizenship process following Russian passport move

Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the President of Ukraine, has ordered changes to the process for receving Ukrainian citizenship reacting to a Moscow decree increasing the number of Ukrainians eligible for fast-track Russian passports.

SES: barrels with chemicals found in Baldone are not harmful to people or environment

The barrels found in Baldone containing different chemicals do not present any direct threats to the environment or people, as reported by State Environment Service.

U.S. shoots down Iranian aircraft amid rising tensions in Persian Gulf

With American-Iranian relations being tense, U.S. President Donald Trump stated that an American naval ship had downed an Iranian drone that threatened the ship in the Arabian Sea.

NATO StratCom does not consider FaceApp more dangerous than Facebook

The US Democratic Party is concerned about Russian-made FaceApp, which allows its users to imagine how they might look like when they are old and retired. NATO StratCom, however, does not consider the app to be more dangerous than other apps users entrust their personal data with.

Additional information to be asked for in Latvian prosecutor general’s evaluation

Saeima deputies who initiated the investigation if there are reasons the justify dismissal of Prosecutor General Ēriks Kalnmeiers have been asked to clarify their request by providing more detailed information in relation to conclusions mentioned in their request.

Latvian minister wants more responsibility for the state in children rights protection

The new children’s rights protection model will delegate more functions to the state, said Latvian Welfare Minister Ramona Petraviča.

Scandinavian tourist killers in Morocco convicted to capital punishment

In Morocco, for the murder of two Scandinavian tourists, three Islamic State group supporters have been sentenced to death.

European Parliament urges Russia to release illegally arrested Ukrainian citizens

On Thursday, 18 July, European Parliament’s members accepted a resolution in which they invite Russia to unconditionally release all illegally and arbitrarily arrested Ukrainian citizens in Russia and occupied territories in Ukraine.

New York Times: stakes are high for Latvia in the fight against money laundering

US newspaper New York Times has published an article detailing problems with Latvia’s finance system, admitting that stakes are especially high in the fight against money laundering in this Baltic country.

Seats divided – Latvian MEPs find their jobs for the next several years

European Parliament has announced to composition of its parliamentary delegations. This includes the roles of Latvian MEPs for the first two and a half years of service, as reported by EP representative Jānis Krastiņš.

Defiant Lithuanian Parliament Speaker snubs party’s decision on his ouster

The summer’s record heatwave has withdrawn, but the Lithuanian legislature, Seimas, is sizzling – the chamber’s speaker, Viktoras Pranckietis, remains defiant, snubbing the ruling Farmers and Greens (LFGU) Council’s nearly unanimous decision to oust him from the post, following the signing of the LFGU-led new coalition agreement in early July.

Latvian Saeima committee supports increasing teachers’ wages to EUR 750

On Thursday, 18 July, Saeima’s Budget and Finance Committee supporter proposal for division of finances to increase minimal wages of teachers to EUR 750 in 2019.

260 more marriages than last year registered in Latvia so far in 2019

In the six months of 2019, a total of 4 730 marriages were registered, and that is 260 marriages more than during the same period of the previous year.

Dentists in Latvia may be offered compensation for work in country’s regions

To improve accessibility of healthcare services outside of Riga, it is planned to expand the range of medical specialists who are eligible for financial support when choosing to work in regions, as reported by Healthcare Ministry.

Open arms for Lidl – Estonian competition watchdog predicts lower prices

Expecting the entry of the German supermarket chain Lidl on the Estonian market, the country’s Competition Authority expects healthier competition and lower prices.

Latvian president says funding is a non-issue if public media are organized

Resolving the public media crisis will make funding a non-issue, said Latvia’s President Egils Levits in an interview to public broadcaster LTV Rīta panorama programme.

Latvian minister shocked over situation with orphans in the country

Latvia’s Welfare Minister Ramona Petraviča is unpleasantly surprised with institutions’ and municipalities’ opposition towards orphaned children ending up in a family-like environment, saying it’s an «inconceivable situation».

Newest comments