Update: Win for ETU members at WA News after being locked out for 10 weeks

by Andy Giddens, organiser, WA

The ETU, AMWU and CFMMEU have negotiated with WA News for over two years, aiming to hold on to existing terms and conditions that have been around for 40 years.

In November 2021 the unions applied to take Protected Industrial Action with an overwhelming majority YES vote. The plan was to take industrial action with a four-hour stoppage. WA News retaliated and locked all workers out for 48 hours.

WA News tried to rip out redundancy provisions for the workers that had been in place for 40 years. Current conditions see workers entitled to four weeks of pay for each year of service uncapped. This was brought in because of the changing industry that they work in. Now WA News wants to cap the redundancy provisions at 26 weeks.

After many hours of suspended action and WA News inability to come to agreement with the Union, they decided to lock out all workers indefinitely.

From 4 February they locked out workers for 10 weeks. Our members stayed strong and stuck together to fight for what was right.

Finally, WA News decided to see sense and came back to the bargaining table.

The latest offer went to vote with an 80% YES vote.

The new agreement includes:

  • A rollover of most terms and conditions.
  • A four year term of Agreement from approval in FWC.
  • wage increases 2% per year = 8%.
  • 20 days paid personal leave, with ability to carry 50% over into the following year.
  • redundancy – Three weeks’ pay per year of service capped at 52 weeks for the first 12 months of Agreement. For the following second, third and fourth year of the agreement the redundancy will be three weeks per year of service capped at 36 weeks. The above redundancy will be paid at 122.5% of the applicable base weekly pay.

The strength and solidarity of these members shows what we can achieve if we work together and don’t settle for less that what we’re owed.

Union members protesting outside WA News headquarters

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This article was publised on 27 April 2022.