E Tū takes TVNZ to ERA for alleged non-compliance on consultation process

But TVNZ describes consultation as 'robust'

E Tū takes TVNZ to ERA for alleged non-compliance on consultation process

The E Tū union has filed a claim against TVNZ for allegedly not complying with their collective agreement's requirements on the consultation process.

The claim, which has been filed with the Employment Relations Authority, came after the television network confirmed that it would stop production for Midday, Tonight, Fair Go, and Sunday.

According to Michael Wood, E tū negotiation specialist, the collective agreement with TVNZ requires that union members should be involved in the developmental stages of decision-making processes and in the business planning of the organisation.

"The fact is, members simply weren't given the opportunity to engage with the design of TVNZ's plan until the proposal was presented," Wood said in a statement.

"It's crystal clear in the TVNZ collective agreement that workers must be involved in developing proposals like this, not just asked for their views at the end of the process."

Dispute over consultation with TVNZ

The claim was filed despite an earlier statement from TVNZ that it had a "robust" consultation process, where all feedback has been considered.

"We've listened to our people, and we're pleased to propose a new team to take the lead on long-form consumer and current affairs reporting for TVNZ's current and future digital products," TVNZ chief executive Jodi O'Donnell said in a statement.

E tū, despite commending the proposed introduction of the new team, described the consultation as "short" and a "flawed process."

Wood said the introduction of a new team, which will result in the creation of four new roles if confirmed, "reinforces that a proper process could have led to much better outcomes."

"We reiterate our call for TVNZ to go back to the drawing board and work properly with their staff to shape a way forward which properly values their massive contribution to our media landscape," Wood said.

Four new roles are expected to be created once TVNZ's proposal of a new team on long-form consumer and current affairs reporting is confirmed. However, this fall short from the proposed 68 jobs that would be cut when TVNZ announced its plans to cut costs last month.

"The economic and structural challenges our sector faces have never been more evident than today," O'Donnell said. "We're focused on securing a sustainable future for TVNZ and that means leaning into a period of change and digital transformation so we can continue to deliver for New Zealand viewers and advertisers."

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