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.
Current news for the campaign:
- We will be having strategy meetings in each state in March to decide on short term and long term plans for our freelancing campaign. We are limiting numbers so that we can make sure we can get things done so if:
– You want to be part of the meeting, email Jenny.
– You want to send me issues/concerns/ideas for the meeting, please email me.
- We want people to send in their contracts for freelance work (past and present, signed or unsigned) to MEAA so we can go through them and look at the clauses.
Please email [email protected] with the subject line: CASE #3965 Contract YOUR NAME and COMPANY
- The first workshop we are running is the Media Law Training workshop. It will be held in Melbourne on March 30 at the MEAA offices and will run for the whole day.
We are hoping to partner with other organisations to run other webinars and workshops so stay tuned.
- We may be running my Intro to Freelancing workshop again that I ran with Writers Victoria last month. If so, I will keep you posted as to when that will happen.
- A massive thank you to those who sent in the UK letter by freelancers on late payments. We will be discussing what we can do here in Australia as we have a slightly different context and legislation situation. When we figure it out, we will tell you.
Please continue to let us know of any ideas and suggestions you have and we will squirrel them away and work on them.
I am hoping that by the end of March I will have more information on what we have decided with our strategy meetings.
- MEAA is concerned about how the ABC’s new CEO has been chosen and has made a statement.
- MEAA has also kickstarted a campaign into changing defamation law.
- MEAA is sending a delegation of six people to the Womens Rights At Work National Union Women’s Conference on Tuesday 5 March including me.
- MEAA’s National Media Section is formally requesting MEAA members (and non-members) to consider hosting small fundraising initiatives to raise funds for the MSSF from now till May 3 which is World Press Freedom Day. More on the MSSF below.
- Editors and publicists at Penguin Random House have joined the MEAA! This is very exciting for us. We are thrilled!
For more news, check here so you are up to date and this section doesn’t go on forever.
- 1 -8 March 2019: Women’s Rights At Work Festival
There is a full program including a one day conference, gala dinner, various meetings and even a rally in Geelong.
- 08 March 2019: Melbourne – International Women’s Day Rally
We start at the State Library in the evening and march to Parliament.
- 19 March 2019: Tasmania – Tasmania Media Awards Entries Close
- Throughout March: South Australia – South Australia Media Awards Entries Open
- 28 March 2019: Melbourne – Women In Media Inaugural Jill Singer Lecture
6-8 pm at the ABC studios in Southbank, Melbourne
Louise Milligan will be giving the lecture.
- 30 March 2019: Melbourne – Media Law Training
$250 for members, $500 for non-members
9 am to 5 pm
Melbourne MEAA offices
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.
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.
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.
- Email your contracts to MEAA at [email protected] with the subject line: Case #3965 Contract YOUR NAME and COMPANY