EFJ Calls on Romanian Government to Respect Public Media Collective Agreement

The

European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European group of the

International Federation of Journalists, today backed Romanian journalists in

their demand that the government respect the collective agreements it

negotiated with journalists and other staff working for public media.

 

At

its Congress on October 18, the Romanian journalists’ union MediaSind, an IFJ and EFJ affiliate, called on the government for a fair

and rapid implementation of the collective agreement.

 

“The

role of authorities is not only to create the regulatory framework for public

broadcasting, but also to guarantee political independence and sufficient

financing, which includes decent salary and fair working conditions,” said EFJ

Co-Director Marc Gruber at the

MediaSind Congress in Bucharest “We call on the Romanian government and the

management of public media to put an end to an unacceptable situation and to

respect the collective labor agreements already reached with the unions.”

 

The

Romanian government recently declared that it was “unable to respond” to the

demands for better pay that it had agreed to when it negotiated the collective

agreement for Romanian public mass media. Covered under the agreement are

employees of Romanian TV Society SRTv, Romanian Radio Society SRR and National

Press Agency Agerpres, who are now working under precarious conditions that

have made it difficult to provide quality programmes and to keep qualified

staff in the newsroom.

 

The EFJ says the radio-tv fee for

public media has been kept low for political purposes even as the media outlets

have run out of money. The public broadcasting fee is lower than it was five

years ago. Media workers’ salaries have suffered accordingly. For example, the

current entry salary at Agerpres is 574 RON (153 €), below what was agreed in

the mass-media labor agreement.

 

MediaSind is asking for a general

25% salary raise in public media, as well as the overhaul of the taxation

policy of media institutions.

 

The union will start public

protests on these issues on Thursday 23 October.

 

“The de-politisation of public press

institutions and the adoption of legislative measures for diminishing taxation

policy in mass-media are essential,” said MediaSind President Cristi Godinac. Journalists cannot work under fear, poverty and

corruption.”

 

The EFJ is fully backing MediaSind in their struggle for respect of the

collective agreement, political independence of public media, quality

journalism and decent working conditions.

 

“We call on the authorities to

act responsibly and show their respect for the agreement they negotiated and a

commitment to public media free of political pressure,” said EFJ President Arne

König.

 

At its Congress, MediaSind also adopted a statement

issued by the affiliated unions of the Federation of Romanian Radio Society

Unions and by the Syndicate 2002 of the Romanian Television Society asking for

the dismissal of the management of Romanian public radio and television, which

systematically refused to open talks with union in the past 6 months.



For more

information contact the EFJ at +32 2 235 22 15

 

The EFJ represents over 250,000 journalists in over 30 countries in Europe