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AFL facing legal action from its own media department

Gillon McLachlan has attempted to play down a dispute between the AFL and its media arm.

Gillon McLachlan has attempted to play down a dispute between the AFL and its media arm. Photo: Joe Armao

The AFL is facing legal action from its own media arm.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers confirmed on Friday it was representing the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance in relation to an industrial dispute with the AFL.

Radio station 3AW has reported a dispute has emerged over the exact classification of AFL Media staff, with the league claiming the employees are communications personnel rather than journalists, a definition disputed by the MEAA.

AFL Media was established as the league's independent media arm in 2012. Its responsibilities include operating the AFL's website and publishing its match-day publication the AFL Record. AFL Media employs 115 staff, of which 25 are editorial.

AFL chief Gillon McLachlan attempted to play down the disagreement. "I think it's a bit of teething pains about bringing a group of editorial staff into a different environment," he said. "That's the challenge, about whether they are working in sports administration or whether they're journalists."

The MEAA emphasised its disappointment with the AFL's attitude.

"They negotiate collectively with their umpires; they encourage collective bargaining with the players; it’s not good enough that, when it comes to this group of employees, AFL management won’t meet with them as a collective but is telling them they’re better off on individual contracts," MEAA state secretary Louise Connor said via a press release.

"As you can imagine, the editorial and related people work long and hard during the footy season. Until last year, the AFL acknowledged that by giving them an extra week's leave in the off-season. That was unilaterally removed by management late last year.

"We don’t think the AFL is doing enough to compensate these people for the hard yards they put in for two-thirds of the year.

"We’ve had members working on various AFL media products for years, such as the AFL Record and websites, but most of them were employed by other companies which had been contracted by the AFL. The AFL made a decision to bring these workers – plus more – together to create AFL Media and become their direct employer."

4 comments so far

  • Why is Victoria in constant dispute? McMouth constant screaming, supplements, industries closing, corruption claims, and all because Sydney Swans are cheats! Is there anything positive in that state? From afar it appears not a place to be.

    Commenter
    Positive
    Location
    Vietnam
    Date and time
    August 01, 2014, 1:55PM
    • ????.

      Commenter
      I Have
      Location
      Already
      Date and time
      August 01, 2014, 3:10PM
      • "The hard yards they put in for two-thirds of the year". Most people put in hard yards for nearly a year and get four weeks off. Where do these people get off?

        Commenter
        Paul
        Date and time
        August 01, 2014, 4:19PM
        • Whether is it Andy D or Gillon M the same result - incompetence writ large. So entrenched in their own self importance that they can't see the real world. At any rate why have an AFL media unit when the sycophants in the current media suck up to the AFL every day of the week giving them good publicity and hardly a bad work. They won't bite the hand that feeds them that's for sure.

          Commenter
          Shano
          Location
          Melbourne
          Date and time
          August 01, 2014, 7:20PM

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