Wednesday, 17 February 2016 09:53

Ageing and Entitled Hub Workers Paved Way

for Pagemasters to Return to New Zealand

Axing gives Fairfax Accountants tighter grip on revenue/costs

MSCNewsWire-EIN-National Press Club Service, NAPIER, 17 February 2016 - New Zealand’s on-off-on relationship with Pagemasters is now full circle with Fairfax taking up the slack at the Australian makeup outfit left by the departure of NZME. The old Wilson & Horton chain fired the Australian makeup outfit bringing its production subbing in house again. 

A year later Fairfax is filling the gap left by NZME and in doing so brings to an end the era of the Fairfax Hub, a centralised subbing depot here which did the page work for the chain’s papers in New Zealand and Australia.

Fairfax’s decision to fill the vacuum left by NZME was no surprise. In recent times veteran subs had suspected that in addition to their page layout software, that their bosses had fitted time and motion monitor apps on their terminals in order to assess the productivity of their often ageing staffers.

Fairfax was worried too about its eventual and accumulating retirement commitments to hub staff compared to its liabilities attendant upon its much younger general editorial staff.

Employment liabilities are an endless worry for all newspaper chains as they contemplate their digital first futures, as they describe the strategy.

Demonstrating this concern is the strong indication that Fairfax will pay Pagemasters on a piecework or productivity basis.  This gives Fairfax accountants a much tighter grip on costs in relation to revenue. The outsourcing eliminates the unknowns attendant upon things such as sick leave, holiday pay, and service entitlements.