ABC journalists call off strike

Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance members at the ABC have called off a strike that was planned for tomorrow after reaching in-principle agreement with management for a new workplace deal.

MEAA members had been intending to walk off the job tomorrow in the first strike at the broadcaster for more than a decade-and-a-half.

But union representatives have called off the strike following a commitment by ABC management that unions will be involved in the legal drafting of the new enterprise bargaining agreement before any document is put to staff for a vote.

Last week unions gave notice of two one-hour strikes at 7am AEDT and again at 3pm AEDT tomorrow.

MEAA Media Director Cassie Derrick congratulated union members for their determination during a long bargaining period with management.

“The new offer provides pay rises totalling 11% over three years, backdated to October 1 last year, plus a $1500 sign on bonus,” she said.

“Management has also agreed to conduct a transparent audit of the gender and CALD pay gap, to fix the broken buyout system, and to put in place a new pathway for career progression for early and mid-career journalists.

“Clearly, the threat of industrial action has helped to focus ABC’s management’s mind, as has the outpouring of support for our members from ABC viewers and listeners.

“It was a turning point to have Managing Director David Anderson directly involved in negotiations after management stonewalled for months.

“ABC management now must begin to rebuild trust with its workforce.”

MEAA members gave ABC management until 3pm this afternoon to agree to the involvement of unions in the drafting of the agreement or tomorrow’s strikes would have gone ahead.

“This has never been just about pay,” Ms Derrick said.

“It’s about ensuring a fair go at forging a career at the public broadcaster.

“The public need and deserve an ABC that is diverse, fair and equal. It must invest in a workforce that is supported and have sustainable careers in the cities and the regions and for people from diverse backgrounds and women.”

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