Stuff reporters go on strike

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Nov 29, 2022 |

Reporters at Stuff newsrooms across New Zealand have voted to take strike action starting this week pushing for a pay rise in their new collective agreement.

The E tū members will take several two-hour strikes this week, including today, and members have also voted for a 24-hour stoppage at a time to be determined next week.

Stuff received $591,000 in NZ On Air’s first round of funding specifically for public interest journalism.

In the second round, it received $2,789,240 For 20 x Community and Pou Tiaki roles for Stuff publications.

In December’s round it was awarded $103,000 for one te reo Māori Translator from NZ on Air. And $324,200 for investigative current affairs.

It was also given up to $731,300 over two years for non-incremental role funding to support its Marlborough newsgathering.

“Stuff members have voted to reject the company’s pay offer and to continue to seek a deal that addresses cost of living increases this year. Members’ concerns centre on paying their rent, mortgages, paying their bills, and being able to afford family life.”

E tū delegate and Wellington-based Stuff journalist Tom Hunt says the members don’t feel valued.

“The company’s behaviour has been an insult to the journalists it claims to be so proud of.

Journalists have shared heart-breaking stories of how low pay is affecting them. We are hearing of one having to eat baked beans three nights a week and having to hold off on having children because they cannot afford it.”

Hunt said “Nobody got into journalism to get rich, but they expect to be able to cover the basic costs of living. Staff are leaving in huge numbers for better paying jobs. Those still here are getting increasingly angry and frustrated with a company that seems not to care.

The increase we are asking for is only to match the cost of living increases – we will still be no better off in real terms.”

E tū organiser Michael Gilchrist said while Stuff has agreed to establish a stepped pay scale for members with annual progression through the steps, this will only be a significant improvement if cost of living increases are also addressed.

“The benefit of what we’ve negotiated so far depends on ensuring that members’ pay is not continually eroded by inflation.”

Chris Lynch Media understands there’s disharmony over the recent appointment of several “middle managers” in Auckland.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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