Friday, April 3

News loses its heart, says journalists' union

Apropos of my recent posts about The Australian's summary retrenchment of its veteran columnist D.D. McNicoll, my union has led today's media e-bulletin to members with this item:

News loses its heart - The Alliance held national meetings with News Limited staff this week after the company made several long-serving journalists redundant. Staff called on the company to consult over any future redundancies, to first offer voluntary redundancies and to address the discriminatory nature of the redundancy formula for staff over 63 or working part-time. Staff also called for an end to individual contracts and for the company to consider flexible work options instead of redundancies. The Alliance will be taking these issues to management at first opportunity.

But times are tough, and newspapers have to cut costs. Here's what's happening on The West Australian, where I began my cadetship in 1957. It's the second item in the e-bulletin.

9-day fortnight at WAN - Staff at West Australian Newspapers are being asked to adopt a nine-day fortnight “to avoid more draconian methods of reducing labour costs”. Several other media organisations have adopted similar measures. If you feel you are being coerced into a pay cut or taking unwanted leave, please contact the Alliance.

As I note under my blog profile, I remain an honorary member of the Australian Journalists Association, now merged into the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance.


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