TVNZ’s consultation process legally challenged by E tū

E tū has filed a claim with the Employment Relations Authority against TVNZ, as the company did not follow their consultation requirements that are guaranteed for workers in their collective agreement.

The filing comes as TVNZ makes formal announcements about the fate of major parts of their news and current affairs offering, including Fair Go, Sunday, Re: News, and the Midday and Tonight bulletins.

E tū Negotiation Specialist, Michael Wood, says it’s vital TVNZ follow the correct processes through such significant changes.

“It’s crystal clear in the TVNZ collective agreement that workers must be involved in developing proposals like this, not just asked for their views at the end of the process,” Michael says.

“The requirement is that union members must be involved in the developmental stages of decision-making processes and in the business planning of the organisation. The fact is, members simply weren’t given the opportunity to engage with the design of TVNZ’s plan until the proposal was presented.

“It is vital that workers are involved all the way through – not just because it’s their right, but because they have valuable insights that would have helped TVNZ to develop a better proposal.”

Michael says the short consultation process has already shown the value of member participation.

“Even just within the flawed process we’ve seen to date, workers have convinced TVNZ to introduce a new team for long-form consumer and current affairs reporting. That’s a win and reinforces that a proper process could have led to much better outcomes.

“There has been a massive outpouring of support for TVNZ’s workers and the vital content they create. The community supports robust news and current affairs to tell Aotearoa’s stories and hold power to account. This is all the more important given we’ve also learned today the plan to take Newshub off air is going ahead.

“We reiterate our call for TVNZ to go back to the drawing board and work properly with their staff to shape a way forward which properly values their massive contribution to our media landscape.”