Fairfax threatens to ditch collective bargaining


@9point non = On May 19, the Fairfax media empire issued a notice to 1200 editorial staff whose collective agreement is up for renewal that requires staff earning more than $100,000 per year to individually renegotiate their agreements.

In an open letter to federal industrial relations minister Julia Gillard on May 20, Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance acting federal secretary Mark Ryan said that Fairfax has seized on an inconsistency between Labor's April 2007 Forward with Fairness policy and its Policy Implementation document released in August to try to undermine the employees' collective bargaining rights.

"The implementation plan, if put into effect, will put some 350 union members out of their award and ... having to have one-on-one negotiations for their individual pay increases in a union negotiated collective agreement. Nothing could be more bizarre and distasteful than a Labor Government achieving such a result", Ryan's letter said. The union has asked the government to "publicly inform Fairfax management that its position is inconsistent with Forward with Fairness".