Upper house backs Aussie Fairfax newspaper jobs
It seems the local newspaper industry has some bite left in it with the NSW upper house today calling on Fairfax management to abandon its decision to offshore between 40 and 60 jobs to New Zealand.
The call to keep the jobs in Australia follows the passing of a no-confidence motion in Fairfax Media CEO Greg Hywood (pictured) on Wednesday this week by staff at The Newcastle Herald and The Illawarra Mercury.
The no-confidence motion was prompted by the confirmation by Fairfax management and board that it would offshore up to 66 Australian editorial jobs to New Zealand in an attempt to cut local operation costs.
The NSW upper house’s decision to back the Fairfax staff’s no-confidence motion was unanimous, with Greens MP, John Kaye saying, in a statement, that “Fairfax’s proposed changes will undermine the quality of news and current affairs reporting in the Hunter, the Illawarra and the rest of NSW.”
Additionally, Kaye called on Fairfax management to put quality news reporting in NSW ahead of budget considerations in reference to the outsourcing plans that would have seen the jobs move from NSW to New Zealand.
Journalists at The Newcastle Herald called an emergency general meeting following their passing of the no-confidence motion, which was announced on their official ‘We Love Our Newcastle Herald’ Facebook page.
The statement on the page, posted on June 13, said:
Newcastle Herald journalists move a vote of no-confidence in Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood over the plan to offshore 41 journalists at the Newcastle Herald and its associated community titles to New Zealand.
Mr Hywood has failed to demonstrate that his ‘‘New Zealand Solution’’ is superior to the MEAA’s proposal for a virtual sub hub with the Illawarra Mercury on the grounds of cost or production efficiency, and we believe they have not consulted with us in good faith.
We reject the company’s assertion that our sub-hub proposal could not be put in place in the company’s time frame for its New Zealand solution.
We condemn the company for its disregard of the concerted protests from Herald readers, advertisers and community representatives.
Staff have no confidence in Mr Hywood’s leadership and note that this lack of faith is reflected in the share market.
In addition we foreshadow our intention to call an EGM to put forward our concerns about this decision. At that meeting we would move a vote of no confidence in Greg Hywood and the Fairfax board.