Star restructure creates job uncertainty

Twenty-one Northern Star employees will have their jobs affected by a major restructure that will see the newspapers advertising services department centralised in a Brisbane bureau.

APN Australian Publishing, which owns the Northern Star, made the announcement on Tuesday, which is when staff were also told the news. Those affected are primarily ad builders (formerly known as compositors) and artists.

Southern regional manager for the company, Steve Bowden, said employees would be offered the opportunity to retrain and be deployed elsewhere within the Northern Star or move to Brisbane to work at the new ad bureau, with the company picking up the tab for removal expenses and temporary accommodation for families.

He said there would also be between three to five positions created within the Northern Rivers to interface with the Brisbane bureau.

We want to fill those with our people, he said.

Mr Bowden said remaining workers would be looking at redundancy packages as determined under the award.

He said there were natural feelings of anger or abandonment amongst some of the affected staff and he had spoken to several of them on a basis.

We need to help them work through this, he said. We need to help them think, Do I want re-training? Do I want to move to Brisbane?

He said they were giving workers a lot of notice as the first impacts of the restructure wouldnt be felt until April next year, and then later in August.

Its a phased project, he said.

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