The European Federation of Journalists today welcomed the decision of the Greek public broadcaster ERT to provide journalists with permanent job contracts, following negotiations that came to an end last month.
The Chair of the EFJ Steering Committee, Arne König, said that this was “a breakthrough deal that will be welcomed throughout Europe. The Greek example shows that the development of casualisation and short term contracts can be avoided. We hope that this example will be followed by other countries”.
An overwhelming majority of the journalists working under repeated short-term rolling contracts for ERT S.A. will have their temporary work agreements converted into open-ended contracts, after Greece’s High Council of Personnel Selection (ASEP, an independent authority) completed the reviews last December, albeit with significant delays.
Prior to ASEP’s selection, the journalists employed by ERT were subject to a two-tier system. The majority of working journalists worked as “independent contractors” whose temporary work agreements were subject to renewal every two or three-months. Although they met the legal qualifications for rights protection, they had no entitlement to workers’ compensation or unemployment benefits, while their wages were far below the remuneration governed by collective bargaining agreements.
During its General Meeting in 2004 in Thessaloniki and during the 2005 Annual Meeting in Bilbao, the EFJ backed a Resolution on this issue proposed by the Union of Journalists of Daily Newspaper of Macedonia and Thrace.
“The so called atypical forms of work should remain the exception”, said Arne König. “Journalists across Europe need secure employment and guaranteed working rights. The EFJ will continue to fight for these principles”.
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The EFJ represents over 250,000 journalists in more than 40 countries