The Toronto Star's radio room program is staying in-house after the union negotiated a 32 per cent pay cut for the interns. 

"The hourly rate for the students working in the radio room will now be $17, down from about $25 in the old contract," the union bulletin said. "As well, vacation, overtime and holidays will be governed by the Employment Standards Act, rather than the contract. The students will, however, continue to have full union protection on matters of discipline, etc."

The Star’s radio room is staffed 24-hours a day, seven days a week by students who work part-time on 8-hour shifts, monitoring emergency scanners, television, radio and online news as well as social media, filing breaking stories and updates for the website.


The box, as the radio room is often referred as, costs about $250,000 to run annually, and management had proposed contracting out the services provided by the interns. 


Tamara Baluja is an award-winning journalist with CBC Vancouver and the 2018 Michener-Deacon fellow for journalism education. She was the associate editor for J-Source from 2013-2014.