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Fifteen Journalists Banned From Entering The Building Of The National Television!

When he came to work on Wednesday, Rajko Gerič, the editor-in-chief of the second programme of the national media outlet Radio-Television Slovenia (RTVS), was given a second decision to go home and not to do his editorial work. However, on Thursday, he and 14 other employees were prevented from entering the building – namely, their service cards that enable them to get into the building, were blocked. This is the first time in history that a responsible official, which is what the official colophon of a media outlet says he is, has been refused entry to the building for whose programmes he is responsible. The first to report on the blocked cards that prevented the editor-in-chief and other journalists from coming to work was journalist Bojan Požar.

Požar also pointed out on Thursday that the new RTVS management is appointing individuals with only a high school education to important editorial positions at Television Slovenia, even though the formal prerequisite for the job of a journalist is a university degree. They act on the well-known principle that it does not matter if a person is literate, what matters is that he or she is “ours.”

On Thursday, Gerič and fourteen other journalists who are still employed at RTVS, even after receiving the decision to be temporarily laid off, had their work cards blocked and were even denied access to their workplaces, where they still have their belongings.

Who has the power to send the editor-in-chief home?

The first order for Gerič’s temporary lay-off, with the same content, was sent to Gerič during the Christmas and New Year holidays by Rok Smolej on behalf of the Director of Television Slovenia, Ksenija Horvat. Smolej, claiming that there was no work for them because the new management of RTVS had decided so, sent fifteen other journalists, all of them employees of the show Panorama, the same letter. Temporarily laying off Gerič is a violation of the Radio-Television Slovenia Act, which was adopted by the current government coalition and approved in a referendum, because editors-in-chief cannot be dismissed in this way. According to the Radio-Television Slovenia Act, only the management board can remove the editor-in-chief before the end of his or her term of office, and then only if the editor does not have the support of a majority of the editorial board. And with the consent of the RTVS Council. They have not even initiated a procedure for this.

Now, Gerič’s “dismissal” has been at least slightly corrected, because he has been temporarily laid off by the administration of Zvezdan Martić and a programme officer working for the Director of the TV channel. Meanwhile, there are only three members left on the RTVS board. The new order shows that the Workers’ Director, Franci Pavšer, a member of the now three-member board, did not agree with temporarily laying off Gerič. The decision that Gerič received reads as follows:


The employer hereby assigns the civil servant GERIČ RAJKO (16074), to be temporarily laid off work on the legal basis of paragraph 1 of Article 138 of the Employment Relationship Act, due to the employer not being able to provide work, which resulted from a change in the organisation of work. The employee is to be temporarily laid off from the 3rd of January 2024 to the 31st of January 2024, on the legal basis of paragraph 1 of Article 138 of the Employment Relationship Act.


Due to business or organisational reasons (cancellation of projects in accordance with the approved Programme Production Plan for 2024), the employer is temporarily no longer able to provide the work for the post of Broadcast Editor Scriptwriter (m/f) (70275), as provided for in the Employment Contract No 1/A-1-16074-23-2.

During the period of being temporarily laid off, the civil servant shall be entitled to an allowance of 80 percent of his base salary, as referred to in Article 137(7) of the Employment Relationship Act and shall be obliged to respond to the employer’s summons in the manner and on the terms set out in this written order. The civil servant must be available to the employer for being summoned back to work on his or her preferred e-mail address ([email protected]), which is provided to him or her by the employer, or on his or her official mobile telephone number, if the employee has a work mobile phone.

The employer will inform the civil servant of the date and time of his or her return to work at least 24 hours before the required time of arrival at work. The civil servant must report for work on the basis of a written or verbal summon from the employer. If the civil servant does not report to work at the scheduled time, such conduct will be deemed to be a breach of contractual or other obligations under the employment relationship, assuming that the employee has no excusable reasons and that his or her absence is not communicated to the employer.
In the event of a change in the legal basis on which this decision was made, the employer will issue a new decision to the civil servant, amended accordingly. The period of being temporarily laid off may not exceed six months in any calendar year. This decision shall take effect from the date of the lodging of this decision at the official e-mail address of the public servant.”

The decision was signed by three members of the Management Board of Radio-Television Slovenia, while the aforementioned Workers’ Director Pavšer did not sign it, but instead wrote “Do not agree” in lieu of his signature.

The reason that Pavšer disagreed with the decision is very likely because he is aware that they are quite likely to lose in an employment tribunal because they are employing and hiring additional forces at the same time as they are temporarily laying off other workers, and the business reason for these dismissals is also questionable, which is the political demand of the ruling party to get rid of the “Janšaists” – supporters of Janez Janša. It is public knowledge that these dismissals were publicly demanded by Prime Minister Robert Golob himself, who also expects Marcel Štefančič of the left-wing magazine Mladina to be in front of the cameras again. Even on RTV’s own show Odmevi (Echoes), Golob admitted to presenter Tanja Starič that he was “cleaning up” the police and RTVS, for which he was denounced by Gerič at the time. The Prime Minister even warned Starič that she also knew exactly what was going on, because everyone, including her, had pledged to get rid of Janšaists at RTVS. They also discussed the testimony of former Interior Minister Tatjana Bobnar, who said that Golob had offered her the opportunity to regain his trust by firing specific individuals.

A dispute lost in the courts would mean that the illegally dismissed employees would have to be compensated and also reinstated. The damage would thus be twofold. Although Gerič, as editor-in-chief of TVS’s second (and third) programme, has been temporarily laid off by the decision in question, thus requiring him not to do his job, he is still listed as editor-in-chief in the institution’s colophon.

The Mass Media Act requires that a media outlet has an editor-in-chief, but also that the editor-in-chief is responsible for all information published in the outlet, not just journalistic information. The law also makes this responsibility subject to obligations in legal proceedings.

Temporarily laying off the editor-in-chief while the programme still exists and he is responsible for it is, from a legal point of view, sheer madness.

To see how the state’s records and its sanity are doing, one must simply look at the media register of the Ministry of Culture, headed by Asta Vrečko (the Left party – Levica), according to which the official Director of RTVS is still Andrej Grah Whatmouhg, and the editor-in-chief of TVS is still Jadranka Rebernik. In six months, they have failed to input the right information about the bosses, and this for the largest state media institution, to which we contribute a hundred million euros a year.

Peter Jančič, Spletni časopis

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