Offer made to GPB staff concerning change of work schedule is ambiguous - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო

Offer made to GPB staff concerning change of work schedule is ambiguous

06 September, 2018


The decision to change the work schedule made by the management of the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) is ambiguous and raises questions with regard to transparency of the process and possible discriminatory treatment of individual employees.

Prior to the beginning of the new TV season, the GPB management presented to some of its staff a new offer concerning changes in their work schedule. Based on this initiative, individual employees will now be paid per hour. According to the management, if the employees do not accept this offer by 4 September, they will be dismissed from their jobs after being paid a compensation amounting to two-months salary.

GPB made a public statement concerning these changes later, after an active discussion of the management’s dubious initiative was already in full swing in the social media and on TV. The statement said that GPB had accumulated an excessive number of crews, which does not reflect the needs of the current programme production and significantly increases the size of human resources while, in parallel, the employees in question are “hardly ever present” while some virtually never came to work. In the offer made to the staff, however, the management did not mention these reasons at all.

It is noteworthy that GPB has been announcing the public broadcaster staff performance reviews or evaluations for years now, to no avail. To this day, no transparent system of staff evaluation has been set up; no calculation has been made regarding the number of staff that GPB needs to operate, and there is no organigram. In parallel, after the election of Vail Maghlaperidze as the new director, dozens of former employees of GDS and Ninth Channel, the TV channels owned by Bidzina Ivanishvili’s family, were hired by GPB without competition.

Transparency International Georgia supports the idea of reforms at GPB but the process must be open and transparent. It is important that the qualification of all employees is evaluated based on objective criteria and that singling out and discriminating against individual employees based on subjective views is ruled out.

Correspondingly, we call on GPB to answer all the legitimate questions that the public has in order to dispel all the suspicions concerning the unfair treatment of some employees by the management.

In addition, we call on the Board of Trustees and Parliament of Georgia, within the scope of their authority, to look into the events unfolding at GPB and respond accordingly without delay.

Transparency International Georgia is ready to provide legal assistance to the GPB employees who believe that the management of GPB violated their labor rights.