Māori TV workers to strike over pay
Dozens of Māori Television staff are set to walk off the job after pay negotiations spanning nearly a year failed to reach an agreement.
Twenty-three employees have told the state-owned channel's bosses they plan to strike, and both shareholding ministers Bill English and Te Ururoa Flavell have been notified.
Those affected are production staff, researchers, and camera operators, whose collective bargaining agreements ceased in September last year, with talks ongoing since.
It's understood the standoff is over pay rates, and not over the channel's culture-change following the departure of high-profile figures like Julian Wilcox, Mihi Forbes, and Carol Hirschfeld, and new management figures like Paora Maxwell.
Mr Maxwell confirms to Newshub there have been prolonged negotiations which have failed to reach agreement, but defends the offer he's put on the table.
"We believe the offer put forward to the union at recent talks is both fair and reasonable and supports the organisation's performance-based remuneration approach," Mr Maxwell says.
E tῡ Union representative Joe Gallagher didn't want to discuss details of the industrial action, but did confirm it was happening.
"I can confirm the members have voted to take industrial action. We've reached a crisis point in the bargaining and we take industrial action as a last resort," he says.
"Māori TV have confirmed they're interested in a meeting one last time to try resolve it, and out of respect for them, I'm going to give them an opportunity to try and fix this," says Mr Gallagher.
Mr Maxwell is blaming the union for the drawn-out process, urging it to bring talks to a close.
A meeting with company bosses is scheduled for Wednesday next week.