September 24, 2004
Journos to take Herald to court
Journalists at the NZ Herald have resolved today to take their employer to court over the company’s refusal to apply their employment agreement to workers on the Sunday edition.
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union national secretary Andrew Little said that Herald publisher Australian Provincial Newspapers was clearly breaking the law by not employing new journalists under the journalists’ agreement.
“The Employment Relations Act requires that all new staff be employed under the collective agreement for the first 30 days,” he said. “After that, they can choose whether they stay on the collective or move to an individual agreement.
“APN is refusing to allow anyone hired to work on the Sunday paper coverage by the collective agreement.”
Mr Little said that the journalists had tried in three days’ of negotiations to deal with the company’s concerns.
“We’ve tried to be flexible,” he said. “When the company said that it was worried about having to pay overtime and penal rates, we offered to have people working on the Sunday paper employed on salaries. The company rejected this.
“We then offered a significant concession on Saturday pay rates, but the company failed to respond,” he said.
The union will ask the Immigration Department to investigate the immigration status of foreign journalists hired to work on the Sunday paper.