E tū members working as journalists for Allied Press are walking off the job for a whole day to protest their employer’s current offer on the table for their new collective agreement.
More than 40 members from Dunedin to Invercargill will participate in the day-long strike action with pickets from 9am on Tuesday morning.
Union members are pursuing a decent pay rise that will bring their wages into line with industry pay rates.
ODT delegate and journalist Rebecca Fox says pay rises for members over the last 15 years have not only fallen behind inflation, but behind others in the media industry.
“We recognise how tough the media industry and the ODT has it at the moment, but it can’t be an excuse for unliveable wages.
“Other players in the industry are getting five to six percent pay increases – our last one was two percent,” she says.
Rebecca says it takes around three years for journalists starting out at the ODT to earn even the Living Wage, while those with many years of experience also feel short changed.
“We have people working with 20+ years of experience who are barely getting the new average salary for Otago* which is around $70,000.”
She says for years, journalists at Allied Press have also been struggling with a lack of training and resources, which has added to their feeling of being under-appreciated.
E tū organiser Ann Galloway says negotiations with the company have always been drawn out, and this round of bargaining has been no different.
“Members are fed up with waiting on their employer to give them a decent pay rise.”
In comparison to other newspaper outlets, their pay rates are very low, she says.
“Members are prepared to keep fighting until they receive an offer that they can accept.”
Allied Press journalists are striking from 9am on Tuesday 10 October to 9am Wednesday 11 October.
Pickets will be held outside the Otago Daily Times office in Dunedin at 52 Stuart St on Tuesday 10 October at 9am, 12pm, and 5pm.
* According to the most recent Trade Me Jobs report