Nine has come in with a fresh offer as Hundreds of journalists across Nine’s major mastheads are set to strike this week over pay disputes.
B&T can confirm that Nine has come in hot with an improved offer, which means a Grade 1 journalist would be on a package of $73,113 next year.
A Grade 5 journalist would go from a minimum current package of $99,706 to $106,837 per year by the expiry of the EBA.
Plus, this proposed EBA would result in 49.8 per cent of journalists earning more than $125k per year in total at the expiry of the agreement.
In a memo sent to staff, MD of publishing, James Chessell said, “The offer that is now on the table is well above what the Company had anticipated going into this process. It is in excess of what we have budgeted. Going into a volatile 12 months, it puts us in a more difficult and precarious position than I would like. To think the coming 12 months will be as rosy as the past 12 months is wishful thinking. This is why this is a final offer.
“I can’t think of any other newsroom in the country that comes close to offering entry-level journalists a pathway that leads to a 58 per cent pay rise per year over five years. I can’t think of any other newsroom in the country that is offering a 4 per cent pay rise on top of a $1750 bonus for the current financial year.”
Chessell also made it clear that increases in the vicinity of 5 per cent were not achievable. Basically, Nine’s declaring this is the best offer it can come up with.
Chessell also warned that this was Nine’s final offer and wrote: “If you choose to decline this offer and start down the path of industrial action, it will only sour things – both with our brand, our readers and with Nine.
“Don’t make this job more difficult – and therefore put future pay deals at more risk – by taking unnecessary industrial action. This is a final offer.”
Basically, Nine’s prepared to splash the cash around to keep journalists happy, but will it be enough? To stop the strike that is meant to move forward this Friday?
The Australian has reported that the two-day strike is set to be on Thursday and Friday, and 90 per cent of Nine’s journalists are members of their union. Basically, journalists will be closing their laptops in droves.
The strike could come at a pretty busy time when you consider the Queen’s funeral is days away and football finals are revving up. It is not ideal for Nine to lose most of its journalists.
I mean, what if Karl Stefanovic quits The Today Show? While Nine’s down, most of its journalists! There will be anarchy.
But Nine’s offer might be enough to put a stop to the strike.