Union puts in Fair Work application for journalists to be paid overtime

Journalist union the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance is pushing for journalists to be paid overtime for the extra hours they work, claiming increasing pressures put on them means they are not taking the lieu time owed to them.

MEAA has applied for journalists to be paid overtime

The MEAA has submitted an application to the Fair Work Commission asking for new clauses to be put into the Journalists Print Media Award (JPMA) and the Broadcast and Recorded Entertainment Award (BREA) to get them the extra pay instead of time off in lieu (TOIL).

In a statement the director of MEAA’s Media section, Katelin McInerney, said a survey of 209 journalists by the MEAA showed 65% claiming to have worked four or more hours of overtime a week.

“But the way they are compensated is ad-hoc, with very few journalists reporting their hours are being formally recorded, and some being given TOIL, others being paid and others not being compensated at all for overtime worked,” she said.

“Journalists are dedicated to their craft and have always understood that if a big story is breaking, they will need to stay at work to file the story, but like other industries, they have the right to have that overtime compensated in return. Traditionally this has been through TOIL.

“But the reality is that because of the cuts to staff in recent years, newsrooms are understaffed and the pressure to turn up and put in extra hours just to get the job done is so great that the notion of TOIL is becoming non-existent.”

The application is set be hard by The Fair Work Commission today.


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