“I found out the same day if they renewed my contract. If the sick person came back, the next day I had to go. Before I loaded the car, now I carry a large suitcase and a small one because I work in a territorial center on the other side of Spain where my family lives. Next week I will know if I continue or end the internship. If I have to pick up … zero again ”. It is the testimony of María (fictitious name to protect her identity), RTVE worker, about her experience in the public corporation in recent years as an intern.
In a workforce of around 6,400 employees, 330 people work with temporary contracts at RTVE, many of them in that situation for more than a decade despite the fact that they fill structural positions. On Wednesday night his fight went viral with a video published on social networks to ask that his situation be solved in the middle of the political, labor and union tangle in which the public body has been involved for years.
The initiative, tagged on the networks as #InterinosRTVE, was immediately supported by the best-known journalists of the public entity: Carlos Franganillo, Mavi Doñate, Virginia Díaz, Almudena Ariza, Carlos del Amor or Xabier Fortes, among many. This situation is added to the many that RTVE must solve for years, such as the application of the III Collective Agreement (published in the BOE last December) or the appointment of the new Council, whose process to examine the candidates who presented themselves to the Public competition was resumed last Wednesday.
“There are people who do not know when or how the contract will end, there are people who have been chaining several contracts of this type for many years and all this with the situation that no opposition has been called in RTVE for 13 years. We have been trained here, learning from our colleagues, we have matured professionally and personally, we have married, had children and everything always with uncertainty, fear, instability … ”, he adds.
Laura (another fictitious name), from the writing area, joined RTVE in 2006 after having completed a master’s degree, passed a scholarship and an internship. He has chained different contracts, with their grace periods in between. “My first contract was to cover a sick leave, after a year and a half I was out of work for months, then they got me back … the moment you sign an interim contract, you don’t know when it’s going to end. I cannot plan my life as a person with a fixed contract, neither to ask for a mortgage or to plan vacations ”, he explains, although he remembers that at least the conditions are good and there is no discrimination regarding being fixed or hired.
The same happens even with positions of responsibility. Rubén Urdiales will add nine years of interim status in mid-2021. Since his incorporation in 2014, he has served as editor and also as coordinator of content produced by the Barcelona Newsroom to feed the news broadcasts that are broadcast from Madrid. He has been editor and presenter of newscasts on Canal 24 Horas and on La 2 until last summer. In September he returned to the corporation as editor of the new Gemma Nierga program on Radio 4 and La 2 on the Catalan circuit.
Susana Castañón joined TVE six years ago, where she has been deputy editor of the morning newscast and is now integrated into the Culture area. His first contract lasted just three months. She occupies the position of a correspondent who returned to Spain and was fired at that time. She was off television for a month to fulfill the cadence period and was hired again. He lives with « the concern » that the correspondent whose position he now occupies will return.
Gabriel López, who specializes in political information, has been accumulating contracts for 12 years, which join his stage as a fellow on public television. He has covered a dozen electoral processes and considers that temporary employment implies « always having a threatening sword of Damocles. » There are 13 professionals assigned to the Nacional de Torrespaña area, of which eight are long-term interns. In RNE, the situation is reproduced. David Fernández has been chaining contracts for 13 years. He studied the Master of the RTVE Institute, spent two years of internship and hired contracts on account of the vacancy left in Madrid by the correspondent in Berlin. After 10 years covering economic information, he is now part of the team of parliamentary journalists. He sees the future « very complicated » due to « permanent uncertainty » that affects all the interns in the house.
The situation is repeated in the territorial centers. Elena Correa was hired in 2010 to cover the information in Melilla. And there he was six and a half years. It started at RNE and a year later, as a result of the phenomenon of synergies, it began to make radio coverage compatible with television coverage at the foot of Valla. Remember that in 2015 the company did not have any permanent worker to direct the information unit of the autonomous city and assumed that function. A year later they offered him another contract in Seville, always « covering temporary assignments ». And so he has been for more than four years, two of them editing and presenting RNE’s Andalusian newsletter. He considers that his situation is not the worst. « I have had only two assignments, but I have carried out tasks that are not necessarily those of the person I am replacing, » he says.
RTVE announced at the end of 2020 that it will hold competitions with periodic calls, something that has not happened since 2007. “Transfer contests and internal promotions will be launched and, what is more important, entrance tests will be held in which students will be able to participate. workers with temporary contracts, including temporary contracts. Thus, temporary employment will progressively become indefinite, « said the sole administrator of the corporation, Rosa María Mateo.
Professionals who find themselves in this situation permanently think that they can go to the street any day and trust the calls to fill around 1,500 places in two years. They demand that quotas be reserved for those who are already linked to the corporation. But the unions do not have a consensual position in this area and some are opposed to seniority scoring and threaten to go to court if restricted oppositions are opened. The company management, meanwhile, calls for the search for a common position among the unions. So far, without success.
« There is talk that there will be a call, we do not know when it will be, » protests Laura. « The first is 110 places, which as they first have to choose the fixed ones if they want to move or promote, in the end they would stay in about 46 open places, not in all categories or territorial centers. It doesn’t solve the problem, ”says Laura. « People who have been in the technical or administrative area for so many years, have they really not already sufficiently demonstrated that they have the capacity and sufficient merits to be in that job? Do they really have to pass the exam? The option they give us is an opposition, and we want an alternative. Before 2007 there was a process where 700 hired workers were regularized, they were made permanent, and they did not go through opposition. Now that the social part and the company say that it is the only way … at least that they sit down to negotiate and talk about our problem, that we have not generated it. The only thing we have done is sign the contracts they have offered us and work, work like someone else ”.
Some parliamentary groups that this Wednesday began to evaluate the candidacies to form part of the new board of directors of RTVE, have been interested in the situation of the interns. Insistently, the United Podemos deputy Txema Guijarro asks the applicants about their project in terms of labor policy and « the precarious conditions » derived from « the interim exchange. » Some of those appearing recalled that in the next eight years more than a third of RTVE’s payroll could take early retirement (around 2,700 of the approximately 6,500 workers of the corporation.