Stop press: Following a new pay offer from management, ABC journalists have voted to indefinitely postpone today’s stoppage.
The ABC’s journalists are striking briefly today, but even though their action is protected under the law, they do so without the support, yet, of most other ABC staff. Having balloted early and voted on action before the majority of ABC staff, the journalists will go on a short strike today (Tues 7 March, 2023) for the first time in 17 years.
In 2006, then Queensland State Editor Fiona Crawford presented national 7pm TV news strike bulletins that were cobbled together by management.
While journalists are members of the MEAA, most of the rest of the broadcaster’s other employees are members of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), which is still conducting a membership ballot on industrial action.
That ballot closes on the 15th of March.
Read a Guardian report about the industrial action
Today’s 40-minute-long strike, which is designed to coincide with the Reserve Bank’s latest interest rate announcement, was approved by ABC members of the Media Entertainment Arts Alliance (MEAA) in a national vote last week.
The unions are rejecting a new ABC offer of a one off $1,500 sign on payment, which fails to include backpay, in a package that results in a real offer of just 2.3% pay rise in the first year.
It’s been reported that the ABC’s Managing Director, David Anderson, met personally with CPSU and MEAA officials in Sydney to discuss the crisis, but there was no resolution.
Action by the ABC employees is being hamstrung by changes to industrial relations laws in recent years.
No strike action, for instance, can take place without management being given five working days’ notice in advance, which allows for the employment, and even training, of casual workers to put programs to air.
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