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Fairfax Media saves 20 jobs, to cut 100 jobs and offer redundancies to news, business staff

Fairfax media logoFairfax Media has saved 20 full-time jobs as it looks to reduce costs across its editorial departments in Sydney and Melbourne, reducing a proposal to axe 120 jobs down to 100.

In March, Fairfax staff were informed of a cost reduction plan which saw the newspaper publisher say it would be cutting the “equivalent of 120 full-time jobs” from news and business across newspapers The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

The company has now completed the consultation period for the proposal to cut the positions, revealing it has managed to identify “non-staff savings which amount to the equivalent of 20 full-time jobs”.

In an email from Sean Aylmer, Fairfax Media’s editorial director, staff were told: “As flagged in my announcement to staff on 17 March 2016, we have been reviewing non-staff costs at the same time as consulting on redundancies.

“We have identified non-staff savings which amount to the equivalent of 20 full-time jobs. This will be achieved predominantly through reduced contributor spend and some pagination savings.

“To reach the rest of the savings required, a Voluntary Redundancy (VR) program for the equivalent of 100 FTEs (the hours worked by one employee on a full-time basis) will be open to all editorial staff in the News and Business verticals covered by the Fairfax Media – Metropolitan Journalists Enterprise Agreement 2014.”

The VR program is now open and will close on Monday May 2 at 5:00pm.

“Our goal is to let people know as soon as is practical after that date whether they have been successful,” Alymer said in the note to staff.

Fairfax Media declined to comment.

Miranda Ward

Sean Aylmer’s email in full:

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback and ideas around cutting costs. Some of your ideas have been adopted and we will commence implementing them shortly.

I would also like to thank the MEAA for its efforts in identifying potential cost reductions.

As most of you are aware, the consultation period closed on Tuesday 12 April around the company’s proposal to cut the equivalent of 120 FTEs.

As flagged in my announcement to staff on 17 March 2016, we have been reviewing non staff costs at the same time as consulting on redundancies. We have identified non-staff savings which amount to the equivalent of 20 full time jobs. This will be achieved predominantly through reduced contributor spend and some pagination savings.
To reach the rest of the savings required, a Voluntary Redundancy (VR) program for the equivalent of 100 FTEs will be open to all editorial staff in the News and Business verticals covered by the Fairfax Media – Metropolitan Journalists Enterprise Agreement 2014.

Details of the VR program are below. It is now open and will close on Monday 2 May at 5pm. All requests for estimates will be treated confidentially by HR.

Our goal is to let people know as soon as practical after that date, whether they have been successful.

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