2014-08-01 11:56:07 Releases

The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) today confirmed that editorial staff members employed by AFL Media have asked their union to negotiate a collective agreement on their behalf.

MEAA is the union for workers in the media, entertainment and sports industries.

Louise Connor, MEAA’s Victorian secretary, said the union was approached by employees when the AFL decided to create AFL Media.

“We’ve had members working on various AFL media products for years, such as The AFL Record and websites, but most of them were employed by other companies which had been contracted by the AFL. The AFL made a decision to bring these workers – plus more – together to create AFL Media and become their direct employer,” she explained.

“As AFL Media has developed, employees decided that they wanted more transparency and clarity in how their wages and conditions are set, rather than being on individual contracts.”

Ms Connor said the union was asking for a collective agreement for the editorial staff of AFL Media because they had a number of issues that were common and best addressed in a collective agreement.

“As you can imagine, the editorial and related people work long and hard during the footy season. Until last year, the AFL acknowledged that by giving them an extra weeks’ leave in the off-season. That was unilaterally removed by management late last year.

We don’t think the AFL is doing enough to compensate these people for the hard yards they put in for two thirds of the year.”

Ms Connor said she was disappointed with the AFL response.

“They negotiate collectively with their umpires; they encourage collective bargaining with the players; it’s not good enough that, when it comes to this group of employees, AFL management won’t meet with them as a collective but is telling them they’re better off on individual contracts.”

MEAA has engaged law firm Maurice Blackburn’s to represent its’ members in hearings at the Fair Work Commission to kick-start bargaining.