TVNZ fails in bid to appeal Employment Court decision over consultation and redundancies

The Employment Court has dismissed TVNZ's appeal to its earlier ruling in a case brought by E tū Union.

The broadcaster appeared in the Employment Court in Auckland on Wednesday to appeal a ruling that it failed to consult with staff before cancelling programmes, including Sunday and Fair Go, and making about 70 employees redundant.

E tū said a clause in its contract with TVNZ, specified employees needed to be involved in workplace changing decisions.

TVNZ lawyer Paul Wicks KC said the broadcaster's dire financial situation required labour savings of $10 million.

TVNZ chief operating officer Brent McAnulty told the court a downturn in revenue began at the start of 2023, and by November, all cost-savings had been "exhausted", apart from cutting jobs.

Staff were not made aware of the proposal until March 2024, McAnulty said, because they believed telling staff before the Christmas break would have had a "catastrophic impact on morale".

The appeal ruling said in short, that yes, TVNZ did breach its collective agreement by not letting staff know about its plans.

In her ruling, Chief judge Christina Inglis said TVNZ must comply with clause 10.1.1 of the agreement within 20 working days.

More to come...