So everyone at The Australian got a lovely little note from editor in chief Chris Mitchell pretending that the 3.5% award increase they are all due was somehow his doing. What sort of idiots does he take his staff for? Not only did Mitchell not dig deep to give the pay rise, he also forgot to tell them that the back-pay component in the pay rises was only open to members of the Media Alliance. Those poor sods forced to sign individual contracts at gun point have had their loyalty rewarded by being dudded out of a large swag of dough.As the latest Media Alliance bulletin notes ” No back pay on AWAs – News Ltd community newspaper staff employed on the union collective agreement have received a 3.5 per cent pay increase backdated to Jan 1. However, those on AWAs have been treated differently. In NSW, management claims AWA staff are not entitled to any back pay although they will receive a 3.5 per cent increase from now on. In Victoria, AWA staff at Leader got a lower pay rise than their counterparts on the collective agreement.

The Age’s online editor has not been sacked but he has been offered another job (we hear it is chief-of-staff toilet cleaner in Siberia). Online editor from Queensland will be taking his place. We suspect he has been offered a job interstate, which he is unlikely to take (he has kids, his wife has work in Melbourne, etc). Since they made casuals redundant, there have been at least four occasions where they have been understaffed at night. On Saturday night, the busiest night of the week due to the volume of sport news, they usually have four people on for online — they had two. They were a person down yesterday as well. Casuals come in handy sometimes, and with no sick pay and holiday pay, they are cheap staff.

More than 100 staff at Allens Arthur Robinson have been approved for redundancy. An Allens spokesperson said 114 staff had opted to leave the firm, with effect from the end of the financial year.

A bit of a rough landing at Tullamarine. A section of the ceiling housing lights (and hopefully the O2 masks) on a 767-336 came off during landing. Photo below for your enjoyment (see Plane Talking for more):

More JetStar chaos. Was booked on flight JQ957 from Cairns to Sydney at 7pm on Friday. Jetstar called at around 2pm to tell me that the flight was cancelled and the replacement flight was 9:30am the following morning. Only other flight available to get to Sydney that night was a $1500 business class fare with Qantas. Myself and the two other people I was travelling with missed half of the first day of the PowerShift Youth Climate Coalition Conference (didn’t arrive in Sydney until lunchtime) as well as missing the keynote speaker, Al Gore, one of the main reasons we were attending the conference. Also had two rooms booked at $280 a night which we payed for even though we weren’t be there. Am never flying with Jetstar again.

The topic of Optus Voice mail may be making news, but for the past 24 hours, a large number of Telstra customers across the country have not been receiving SMSs — sending is ok, but receiving just doesn’t want to work.

Media Monitors has undergone a rebadging with great fanfare throughout the organisation. This included revamping their email signature blocks so that the person’s name was in red – only to have to put it all on hold when they discovered at a later date that in Chinese culture a name written in red signifies the person is deceased!