The Wage boards formed for Working Journalists, Non-Journalists and other newspaper employees have submitted their recommendations to the Central Government. G.R. Majithia has been acted as Chairman of the Wage Boards. The recommendations have sparked a row with managements of newspapers. The Boards for Journalists and non journalists were formed 3 years back for fixing and revising wages and allowances for working journalists and non—journalists and other newspaper employees. Following are the important recommendations of G.R. Majithia Wage Board:
1. Hike in basic pay from 2.5 to 3 times
2. Fixing the retirement age at 65.
3. Revised basic pay has to be calculated after merging the existing basic pay, DA and the 30 per cent interim relief already granted besides 35 per cent variable pay.
4. The recommendations have to be implemented from 8th January 2008 if accepted by the Govt. of India.
5. Introduced variable pay concept for all employees working in newspaper establishments and news agencies. The Boards proposed a variable pay of 35 per cent.
6. Variable Pay has to be implemented from 1st July 2010.
7. The basic pay at the entry level could be somewhere around Rs. 9,000 and Basic Pay at senior level could be around Rs. 25,000 in a category 1 media organisation.
8. Need of a permanent tribunal to redress grievances between employers and employees
9. DA should be paid bi-annually with effect from July 1 and January 1 every year.
10. Need of revision of allowances such as HRA, transport allowance, night shift allowance etc.
11. HRA shall be paid at the 30 percent, 20 percent and 10 percent of the basic pay based on the areas specified.
12. Medical allowance of Rs. 1000 and Rs. 500 per month per employee working in newspaper establishment of classes I and II and classes III and IV respectively. No medical allowance for employees covered by ESIC.
The Central Government is busy studying the report and also sent notes to related departments for their opinion. It is likely that the Wage Board Report would be placed before the Central Cabinet soon and get nod in the Parliament.