Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year pay news for newsmen : Wage Board submitted report

The Wage Boards for Working Journalists, Non-Journalists and other newspaper employees submitted their recommendations to the Government on Friday recommending 2.5 to 3 times hike in basic pay and fixing the retirement age at 65.
The revised basic pay has been computed after merging the existing basic pay, the dearness allowance and the 30 per cent interim relief already granted besides 35 per cent variable pay, said Chairman of the Boards Justice G. R. Majithia.
The recommendations have been proposed to be implemented from January 8, 2008.
Taking into account the concept of grade pay introduced in the Sixth Pay Commission, the Boards introduced ’variable pay’ for all employees working in newspaper establishments and news agencies.
Consequently, the Boards proposed a variable pay of 35 per cent. This will be implemented from July 1, 2010.
According to a member of the Wage Boards, the basic pay at the entry level could be anywhere around Rs. 9,000 while the basic pay drawn at the senior level could be around Rs. 25,000 in a category 1 media house.
“We have also proposed the establishment of a permanent tribunal to redress grievances between employers and employees,” the Chairman said after presenting the recommendations to Labour and Employment Secretary Prabhat Chaturvedi.
The recommendations would be examined by the Ministry before it is tabled before the Union Cabinet for approval, the Secretary said.
The Boards have also recommended that dearness allowance shall be paid bi-annually with effect from July 1 and January 1 every year.
The Boards have also recommended revision of other allowances such as house rent allowance, transport allowance, night shift allowance etc, the Chairman said.
It has been recommended that house rent allowance shall be paid at the rate of 30 per cent, 20 per cent and 10 per cent of the basic pay to employees posted in areas defined as area X, Y and Z respectively.
Similarly, transport allowance at the rate of 20 per cent, 10 per cent and five per cent shall be paid by newspaper establishments to its employees posted in respective areas defined as X, Y and Z respectively.
The hardship allowance has been recommended at Rs. 1000 for employees working in hilly areas.
Employees working in newspaper establishment of classes I and II and classes III and IV shall be paid medical allowance at the rate of Rs. 1000 and Rs. 500 per month per employee respectively.
But no medical allowance shall be paid to employees who are covered by Employees State Insurance Corporation.
News agencies with revenue of over Rs. 60 crore have been put in the same place as top rung newspapers following the Boards reclassifications of newspapers and news agencies.
Consequently, PTI has been put at the top place and UNI at the second spot.
The Boards were constituted three years back for the purpose of fixing or revising rates of wages in respect of working journalists and non—journalists and other newspaper employees.
Source : PTI/The Hindu

Some more news :

The Report has classified newspaper establishments into eight categories, and news agencies into four categories based on gross revenues. Recommended pay scales have been classified into six categories for jobs in each class of establishment. Pay scales have been worked out by adding old basic pay and DA admissible up to June 2010 plus 30 Percent of interim relief. The revised pay would have a component of ‘variable’ pay at the rate of 35 percent for employees working in first top four classes of establishments and 20 percent for other four classes of establishments. The ‘variable’ pay will be added in the revised basic pay for calculation of all allowances. Effective date of implementation would be from 1st of July 2010.
The monthly emoluments for the lowest category of employee in the lowest class of establishment would work out to be Rs. 9000 for the basic pay at floor level minimum wage of Rs. 5000. The revised basic pay would however range from Rs. 9000 to Rs. 17500 for non-journalists and from Rs. 13000 to Rs. 25000 for working journalists in the top establishment having gross revenues of more than Rs. 1000 crores.
As far as social security measures are concerned possibility of granting paternity leave to male employees, retirement age of 65 years, and exploring pension scheme possibilities have been suggested going beyond the mandated wage structure revision.
The wage board has further recommended night shift allowance, hard ship allowance; transport allowance and House rent allowance for different class of establishments. It has recommended that a permanent mechanism in the form of a tribunal be set up to adjudicate on complaints regarding non-implementation or circumvention of the Award. Also Employers are to ensure that while engaging contractual workers they must atleast offer same salary for the same work which is performed by the regular employee.
The Wage Boards for journalists and non - journalist newspaper and news-agency employees are statutory in nature. The prime responsibility for implementing the recommendations of the Wage Board rests with the concerned State Governments / Union Territories under the provision of the act.

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