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The Bucharest Court of Appeal definitively annulled the Code of Ethics that was going to establish the dictatorship in the Romanian Television!

postat 20 iun. 2021, 23:57 de Office Mediasind   [ actualizat la 21 iun. 2021, 00:11 ]
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The court admitted the appeal of SRJ MediaSind and ordered the annulment of the Procedure regarding the ethical conduct in the Romanian Television!

The Bucharest Court of Appeal admitted the appeal of the Romanian Union of Journalists Mediasind regarding the annulment of the Procedure on ethical conduct in the Romanian Television Corporation, approved by the Order of the former president – director general of SRTV, Doina Gradea. The court decision is final (see photo).

On April 22, 2020, the Romanian Union of Journalists Mediasind sued the management of the Romanian Television Corporation - SRTV requesting the cancellation of this illegal document through which the TVR management, using immoral tricks, intended, in fact, to establish an evironment of dictatorship in the largest media institution in the state.

The procedure was drawn up by the former director of the TVR Production House, Andras Istvan Demeter (currently Secretary of State at the Ministry of Culture on behalf of UDMR – The Democratic Union of the Hungarians from Romania, who, by a final decision of conflict of interest of the HCCJ, was banned from occupying a public office for three years), together with the head of the Legal Department, Roxana Ionescu and the head of the Classified Information Department, Colonel (r) Adrian Fulea, but also with the complicity of some union leaders enslaved to the management. The document blatantly violates the Romanian Constitution, the ILO Conventions and the European Directives in the field of labor relations, the Labor Code, the Public Whisteblower Law, the Social Dialogue Law, Law 41/1994, the Statute of the SRTV journalist and the provisions of the SRTV Collective Labor Agreement. 

Superficially drafted - ignoring and contradicting already existing norms, adopted arbitrarily, without consulting the social partner signatory of the Additional Act of SRTV Collective Labor Agreement - FAIR-MediaSind Federation, but also without consulting the Board of Directors, the so-called Ethical Conduct Procedure allows the employer to dismiss at any time an employee or to unilaterally terminate the contract with a collaborator for any criticism or for any other action inconvenient to the management, interpreted by it as damaging the image of TVR.

Thus, in the institution in which, due to the multiple illegal decisions of the management, the lawsuits with its own employees are lost in series, the employees were forbidden “to make assessments in connection with the litigations in progress and in which SRTV has the quality of party, if they are not empowered in this respect ”(art. 12 2), in the conditions in which, in the cases referring to the labor relations, the sentences from the first instance are executory. Moreover, employees were not allowed "to provide assistance and advice to individuals or legal entities in order to promote legal or other actions against the state (!) or the public service in which they operate" (art. 12.5), which violates the constitutional right of trade unions to defend their trade union members!

According to the rules of the Gradea - Demeter - Fulea team, the use of computers or mobile phones in personal interest also without the approval of the management could lead to dismissal, as these facts were also considered as particularly serious violations. In other words, receiving/making a private call on the work phone or receiving/sending a private message on the work email are considered to be particularly serious violations!

The so-called Procedure violated both the provisions of the SRTV Law and of the Statute of the TVR Journalist, as it introduced an intermediary appointed by the President-Director General, between employees and the TVR Ethics and Arbitration Commission. Thus, the powers of the commission in matters of professional ethics - "guarantor of compliance with the Journalist's Statute" and a body independent of the management of TVR - were subordinated to the approval of an "ethics adviser" appointed by the President-Director General, appointed as censor of views of the commission in relation to the TVR management. In fact, the institution of the ethics adviser is specific, according to the law, to civil servants and not to media institutions. In addition, he also had the duties of designer - clothing censor, as TVR employees could be fired even if they did not come to work or various events, in "appropriate clothing." (art. 19 par. 1 point. c). At the height of his audacity, the ethics adviser from TVR was the same Andras Demeter, the main author of the Procedure.

Last but not least, the document introduced new obligations for the members of the Steering Committee and the Board of Directors, although these obligations are established by the law on the organization and operation of SRTV and by its own operating regulations.

It should be mentioned that on July 2, 2020, SRJ MediaSind together with the MediaSind TVR branch submitted to the Romanian Parliament a Public Warning by which the employees of the institution, members of the organization, requested the intervention of the members of the Specialized Parliamentary Commissions to cancel this anti-democracy approach. So far, they didn’t bother to send a reply, which shows that the interest of the political class is not in support of TVR employees but to use the institution only as a propaganda tool (details here: Public warning to stop the adoption of the Abusive Procedure on Ethical Conduct in TVR was registered at the Parliament!).

We would like to thank the national and international organizations to which SRJ MediaSind is affiliated, namely the Culture and Media Federation FAIR-MediaSind, the CNSLR-Brotherhood Confederation, the European Federation of Journalists, the International Federation of Journalists and UNI Global, which supported our approach and reported the abuses of the Gradea administration to the Council of Europe, the European Parliament and the European Commission (details here: the International Federation of Journalists and the European Federation of Journalists have reported to the Council of Europe the abuses in the Romanian Television Corporation! ).

Last but not least, we thank all the employees of the Romanian Television Corporation, union members or not, who trusted MediaSind TVR and supported, regardless of the consequences, our approach!

In this law suit, SRJ MediaSind was represented by the organization's lawyer, Dan Iordache.

SRJ MediaSind Communication Department

Bucharest, June 18, 2021

TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER!

MediaSind TVR    

Communication Department                                             

Bucharest, 21. 06. 2021

To report irregularities, use the Fairmediasind platform for cultural and media warnings at this link: GlobaLeaks platform used to defend cultural and media workers: FAIR-MediaSind!