2014-05-02 11:38:19 Releases

Crew working on long running Australian television series Neighbours have voted to take industrial action for the first time in 25 years.

More than 90 per cent of votes were in favour of protected industrial action, following stalled negotiations between MEAA and Freemantle Media for an Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA).

MEAA’s Victorian branch secretary Louise Connor said: “These negotiations have been dragging on for 12 months and in all that time producers have refused to offer basic entitlements such as a reasonable pay rise and security of employment. They are also proposing to cut sick pay.

“We remain ready and willing to continue negotiations but crew are not going stand by any longer while their reasonable and modest requests are ignored.”

Actors Equity director Sue McCreadie said actors are in full support of an EBA for crew. “The show could not exist without the crew. They have the full support of Equity and their actor colleagues.”

“MEAA and our members did not take the decision to seek an order authorising protected industrial action lightly. As a union, we never do,” said Connor.

“The fact is, the meetings were stalled, there was no movement on our important claims and crew have been disappointed and frustrated. We want to see conditions not only maintained but improved.”