Fairfax scales back redundancies to production, lifestyle and photographic

FairfaxFairfax Media has announced new proposals regarding redundancies which would see the publisher scale back the number of redundancies by 18 full time staff, to between 50-60 full time positions, as the voluntary redundancy program opens today.

Last month the company announced a new round of cuts to its newspaper arm Australian Publishing Media (APM), across its editorial production, lifestyle and photographic sections that would have seen 70-80 staff lose their posts.

The cuts, which included major changes to the photographic desks of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age with the outsourcing of much of its photographic capacity to Getty Images, led to mass walkouts across Fairfax’s major mastheads.

In an email to staff today managing director of APM Allen Williams confirmed the number of proposed redundancies would be reduced by eight in both photograph and production, while lifestyle section life media would keep an additional two staff.  

In total more than 50 positions are still expected to be made redundant although the company also signalled that it would seek create a limited number of new roles including two “quality manager” roles. The changes come following frank consultations with the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA), the union representing journalists, which have seen them push the publisher on the details of the plans and in particular how photographic and subediting would be outsourced.

In the email to staff Allen Williams, managing director of APM wrote: “The company reviewed and carefully considered all suggestions and alternatives presented by staff and the union nominated working groups throughout the consultation period.”

The program for voluntary redundancies opens from today and runs until June 13.

The house committees of The Age and Sydney Morning Herald are meeting this morning to discuss the union’s response.

Nic Christensen

Full email to staff below:

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