The MEAA (Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance) is the union for journalists and writers and I thought I should start doing this monthly so that whether you are a member or not, you were aware of what the union is trying to do to help journalism and journalists.
It also helps you be more informed especially if you have ideas for how the union can do more.
So I will tell you what I can tell you – sometimes there are awesome things I am dying to tell you about that I cannot because they are still in planning stage behind the scenes, so please do keep that in mind too.
And remember to have a read through of the MEAA FAQs page on this website as well.
This is the campaign that dovetails with the ACTU’s Change The Rules campaign but is forecasted to go on for as long as it is damn well needed.
We are fighting for better pay rates, a possible minimum pay rate for freelancers, the right to bargain collectively for freelancers and various other changes that will make our work a bit more secure.
Currently, we want any current freelancing MEAA members in ANY field related to publishing/media/arts to join our National Freelancer Committee.
Please email Jenny Farrar to do so.
Apart from that, we need you to send us your rates of pay from different outlets, clients and publications.
This allows us to have stats to back our case up when we present an argument for changing legislation, it helps determine better rates we can advise people to charge, it helps us sort out our own fee structures and it helps all of us toe the line by unofficially sticking to certain rates.
You can read more about the Fair Rights 4 Freelancers campaign.
In the next month or two, I will have more information for you on what we are trying to focus on right now and how it will all happen.
At the moment we have:
- Workshops and training organised
- People coming onto the committee to brainstorm
- Staff organising some previous suggestions behind the scenes to hopefully start working on soon
- Comms Pro has been kickstarted as an official MEAA network for those in PR and communications. Not a section but a network to assist those working in the industry at this point in time.
- Adele Ferguson, Kylie Minogue and Magda Subanski are all longtime MEAA members who just received Australia Day honours.
- MEAA has a statement out about Buzzfeed staff – we stand in solidarity.
- MEAA has a statement about underpaid casuals at the ABC.
- MEAA is marching at Midsumma on 3 February.
For more news, check here so you are up to date and this section doesn’t go on forever.
- 02 FEBRUARY 2019: National T-Shirt Day Campaign
If you have a MEAA/other union/#changetherules shirt from the ACTU, the ACTU would like you to wear it on Saturday and be visible in your support for changing the rules.
If you have other activism clothing for other causes, please feel free to wear that instead so we can support you should we spot you on the day.
- 03 FEBRUARY 2019: Melbourne – MEAA Midsumma 2019 March
11 am – 2 pm, Ian Johnson Oval, St Kilda, Melbourne, VIC
- 4 FEBRUARY 2019: Australia wide – Online webinar: The Business End – To Freelance Or Not To Freelance
6 – 7:30 pm via Writers Victoria open to all online across Australia. Webinar recorded for those who cannot be present live.
Learn all about freelancing and tips and tricks and mindsets and setting yourself up.
$20 to $45 per person with 20% discount if booked before Feb.
- 6 FEBRUARY 2019: Tasmania – Tasmania Media Awards Entries Open
- 11 FEBRUARY 2019: Melbourne – WiMVic & MEAA’s Telling Tales event
$10 to $15
6 – 9 pm, The Metropolitan Hotel, Melbourne
- 25 FEBRUARY 2019: South Australia – South Australia Media Awards Entries Open
- 26 – 27 FEBRUARY 2019: Melbourne – Media Diversity Workshop
6:15 to 8:30 pm,
Multicultural Hub, 503 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne
Two Workshops: Tuesday 26th February and Wednesday 27th February
Are you a journalist passionate about cultural and linguistic diversity in
Australian media? Do you want to discuss the interplay of news, diversity and
disruption in an environment that is rapidly changing? We’re keen to hear
about your personal experiences in the industry.
If you are aware of any other MEAA/media related events, please send them my way.
MEAA works on a lot of different campaigns in each section at once to try to get a lot of issues fixed and there are different ways members and non members can get involved. A lot of these issues will also have an effect on freelancers whether you are a MEAA member or not so it is in your best interest to be aware of what’s happening.
- Change The Rules – This is ACTU’s national campaign to change workplace legislation. Many freelancers want better rates of pay, more security and standard entitlements and many in-house employees want to be able to bargain freely, to be able to move from casual to permanent positions more easily and better wages. MEAA wants to help change the legislation so that these things can finally happen.
read up on exactly what sort of changes we want.
call up your local, state and federal representatives AND their opposition members and ask them to support this campaign.
shout loudly on social media.
march in the rallies.
- Press Freedom – This campaign focuses on the legislation that tries to penalise journalists for doing their jobs or for protecting their sources or prevents them from reporting on particular stories.
follow what has been happening.
read the Press Freedom report.
sign up to keep informed.
call your local representatives to let them know how you feel about current legislation that puts journalists at risk.
- Good Jobs in Digital Media – Journalists working in digital media including freelancers are not always treated well or given the same conditions as their counterparts in traditional or print media. This campaign aims to set out a charter for what good working conditions in digital media should look like and to get workplaces adopting it as a standard base set of conditions to work from and helping employees access union representation.
read the charter and sign it here.
watch the video and share it.
get in touch with MEAA to see how you can help.
join the Facebook Group.
- Fair Go Fairfax – Nine’s takeover of Fairfax means less jobs for journalists in-house but also less work for freelancing journalists. Stories written in one publication with one angle will be reproduced across all outlets, eliminating the need for journalists in each outlet to cover it according to that outlet’s specific audience and needs.
make a submission to the ACCC Inquiry.
also donate to the campaign.
yell very loudly on social media with these resources.
- Hands Off Our ABC – This is a campaign that has been long ongoing in an effort to try to prevent funding cuts and other legislation and moves that affect the ABC operating as it should do and being able to do what it is meant to do in its charter.
follow up on what is happening here.
use all the spicy memes here.
Media Safety & Solidarity Fund
The MSSF is handled by MEAA to collect funds for the families of journalists in the Asia-Pacific region who are undergoing hardship. Some have died in the course of reporting on stories, some have been injured, some find themselves unable to work.
In all cases, they need assistance and the MSSF provides that.
read more here.
donate to MSSF.
Women In Media
Women In Media is supported by MEAA but generally operates seperately. It aims to ensure women (and female identifying people) get paid equally, get to work safely and are better represented in the industry. It does this by providing mentoring, running events and generally doing all sorts of awesome projects. They run awards and carry out research as well.
mentor or be mentored.
attend an event.
join your state committee to have your say.
Future plans include:
– more workshops and training for freelancers (see events section)
– more campaigning on freelancer rights though I will get back to you on what that will look like
– support for the changetherules campaign
– continuing to lobby the government and other parties on important issues (click here for a list of what MEAA has been penning papers and statements on)
– a lot of other things I cannot discuss yet that are still in “behind the scenes” mode
- If you need to chat to me, email me. I am working my way through a list of everyone and will get back to you. Your queries/discussions will be kept confidential. Members/non members are all welcome. But please read the FAQ first in case your question is answered there.
- You can also talk to MEAA directly if you are a member.
- If you want to join and can afford to do so, please do. If you are a student of any sort from TAFE to PhD, you can join as a student and pay $55 per year. The lowest you pay as a full member is $365 per year and it is based on your income.
- You can take action on any of the campaigns without needing to be a member so feel free to get riled up and call some representatives.
- Feel free to leave a question in the comments as well.
- To submit a rate, please go here.