Māori TV union members are planning to strike for 24 hours over ‘unfair and discriminatory treatment’.

In a press release, E tū spokesperson Joe Gallagher says the action comes after ‘months of delays’ by MTS in addressing members’ pay claims, with the company claiming that it had no money.

“We were told they were waiting for the board to provide guidance on a new financial management plan and they’d come back with an answer in a couple of week[sic].

“We were supposed to reconvene for talks in November, but we heard nothing by Christmas.”

Gallagher says the union was informed by its members that MTS had gone through with performance appraisals and had paid non-union staff a bonus before Christmas and a wage adjustment in January.

“We think they’ve undermined the bargaining process by telling us they have no money while giving bonuses and a pay rise to non-union workers.”

Staff union members are expected to strike on August 8.

Māori TV calls on E tū to settle pay dispute

Māori TV is calling on E tū to ratify and end the ‘prolonged collective bargaining process’ in the interest of its staff.

MTS chief executive Keith Ikin says the ‘offer of a base pay rise and a payment based on individual performance’ is consistent across the organisation.

“We believe that Māori Television has been proactive in engaging with the union, and the offer put forward at recent talks is both fair and reasonable and supports the organisation’s performance-based remuneration approach,” Mr Ikin says.

“We are disappointed to learn of potentiation of strike action on August 8 via the media. A contingency plan has been put in place to ensure that viewers are not impacted by the action and that they can continue to enjoy our programmes.

“We remain committed to progressing the deal and reaching an agreement in the interest of providing certainty for the 27 affected Māori Television staff in the union collective.”