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Hardie Grant to enter EBA negotiations with staff

Staff at Hardie Grant Publishing will enter negotiations for an enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) with their employer.

The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) says staff have a ‘clear’ majority and the union aims to begin bargaining as soon as possible. The exact scope of staff to be covered under the EBA is yet to be agreed upon, but it will cover at least editorial and publicity staff in all offices nationally.

Hardie Grant delegates said in a joint statement: ‘We’re incredibly pleased that Hardie Grant Publishing has agreed to bargain, and proud to follow in the footsteps of the amazing delegates at Penguin Random House. We love what we do, and are excited to take steps towards making publishing a more sustainable industry to work in. We look forward to negotiating the second EBA in Australian publishing history in what we hope is a mutually beneficial process.’

The agreement to bargain comes after MEAA lodged a majority support determination on behalf of staff with the Fair Work Commission (FWC) late last year, seeking to have the staff majority confirmed. Hardie Grant had previously not agreed to bargaining, saying that it was not certain that a majority of staff wanted to bargain. At a FWC hearing in December, MEAA withdrew the application on the grounds that the union’s mapping of the site was different to the publisher’s proposed corporate structure, but was preparing to resubmit once Hardie Grant had given a clear outline of its departmental structure.

Adam Portelli, MEAA’s regional director for Victoria and Tasmania, said: ‘This is obviously a big win for staff at Hardie Grant, and for workers across the industry. We’re also pleased that employees have avoided the need for lengthy litigation to simply confirm their right to bargain collectively. Our members are looking forward to sitting down with management at the bargaining table and constructively working on a fair workplace agreement.’

Hardie Grant management declined to comment.


Category: Local news