Today the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European regional group of the International Federation of Journalists, welcomed the successful contract deal that journalists reached with Sweden's private broadcasters.
After long negotiations between the Swedish Union of Journalists and the Employers Association of Sweden's major private broadcasting companies, including TV4, a new three-year collective agreement was signed with a major break-through regarding pay, working hours and short term contracts.
The new agreement includes a wage increase averaging more than ten per cent during a three year period.
The union was also able to negotiate a working time reduction for journalists starting very early in the morning. All journalists who work between 3 am and 5 am will be able to reduce their work day by the same amount of time they work in those early morning hours without losing any pay. For example, a journalist working from 3 am to 5 am will be able to reduce his or her shift by two hours without seeing a reduction in salary. The aim of this particular point in the agreement is to compensate for the ill-effects of working such early hours.
The new agreement also pushes back against employers’ demands that they be able to employ journalists on short-term contracts without any limitations. The deal follows the recent agreement negotiated in public broadcasting and gives the local branches of the union the right to negotiate with employers before anyone is employed on a short-term contract. Additionally employers have to show that there is a need for short-term employment and give the reasons for it - a provision that is unique in the Swedish labour market.
"This is the third great bargaining victory for Swedish journalists within the last six months," said Renate Schroeder, EFJ Director, after observing the last two days of negotiations and meeting with journalists' leaders in Stockholm.
Schroeder said the agreement would be an inspiration to other unions across Europe to press the case for decent work and pay in broadcasting.
Click here for more information from the Swedish Journalists' Federation in Swedish.
For more information contact the EFJ at +32 2 235 2207
The EFJ represents over 250,000 journalists in over 30 countries in Europe