Māori Television union staff to strike

E tū union members at Māori Televison will walk off the job for 24 hours on August 8 to protest alleged unfair and discriminatory treatment.

According to E tū Industry Coordinator, Joe Gallagher, the action follows months of delays in addressing members’ pay claims after the company told the union in October that it had no money.

“We were told they were waiting for the board to provide guidance on a new financial management plan and they’d come back with an answer in a couple of weeks.

“We were supposed to reconvene for talks in November, but we heard nothing by Christmas.  Then we were informed by our members that Māori TV, through performance appraisals, had paid non-union staff a bonus before Xmas and a wage adjustment in Jan this year.

"We think they’ve undermined the bargaining process by telling us they have no money while giving bonuses and a pay rise to non-union workers. And so, our members feel they’ve been discriminated against for being, and belonging to E tū."

Meanwhile, Māori Television has called on the E tū union to ratify and bring to a close a prolonged collective bargaining process in the interest of its staff.

Since initiation of negotiations, 10 meetings have been held with a view to seek a resolution according to the broadcaster.

Chief Executive Keith Ikin says the offer of a base pay rise and a payment based on individual performance made during recent mediation and talks is consistent across the organisation.

“We believe that Māori Television has been proactive in engaging with the union, and the offer put forward at recent talks is both fair and reasonable and supports the organisation’s performance-based remuneration approach,” Mr Ikin says.

“We are disappointed to learn of potentiation of strike action on August 8 via the media.  A contingency plan has been put in place to ensure that viewers are not impacted by the action and that they can continue to enjoy our programmes.

“We remain committed to progressing the deal and reaching an agreement in the interest of providing certainty for the 27 affected Māori Television staff in the union collective.”