National broadcaster must come clean on plans for musicians forced to endure 40% cut in pay
Fine Gael Cork South Central Senator, Jerry Buttimer, has called on RTÉ to support the retention of their string quartet, the Vanbrugh String Quartet, in Cork. Speaking during an Arts, Sport, Tourism, Community, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs Joint Committee meeting, which was attended by representatives from RTÉ, Senator Buttimer called on national broadcaster to continue supporting creative artists and musicians.
“This is a critical matter, which requires RTÉ to give a commitment to the future of the quartet.
“For over 50 years, the quartet has been in residence in Cork but now its future is in jeopardy as a result of salary cuts of 40% which will see pay being reduced from €50,000 to €30,000.
“Any previous attempts by me to raise this issue in the Seanad on an adjournment debate were ruled out of order and I was forbidden from speaking on the matter. I did, however, manage to raise this issue in the committee of Arts, Sports & Tourism, where I called for RTÉ to support their musicians and make a commitment about their future.
“Cultural life is a huge part of tourism in this country and helps to bring much needed revenue into the country. These types of cutbacks will cause untold damage to this aspect of cultural life in Ireland and in particular in Cork.
“RTÉ professional musicians have all taken pay cuts of 5%. However the four members of the RTÉ string quartet have had to endure a 40% cut with the broadcaster also reviewing the future of the string quartet.
“Cork is a city with a strong commitment to music. It is imperative that this group of musicians is retained as it is central to the riches of the city’s cultural life. I am calling on RTÉ to publish its review and make the findings public immediately. “