Palestine: Historic agreement signed

Palestinian journalists have today signed an historic collective agreement – the first of its kind in the Arab World.

The groundbreaking agreement - which will deliver significantly improved terms and conditions and greater editorial independence for 800 Palestinian journalists in the West Bank and Gaza strip, was signed at a ceremony in Ramallah.

The International Federation of Journalists warmly welcomed the agreement, calling it “an historic achievement and a model for the region”.

Journalists at the country’s three main media groups - public broadcaster, the Palestine Broadcasting Corporation, news agency WAFA and daily paper Alyat Aljadeedah – secured the deal after 3 years of negotiation and campaigning by PJS branches and leaders, and with the assistance of journalists unions in Norway and the UK.

As well as recognition of the PJS as the sole negotiator on behalf of journalists, the agreement's key achievements include:

• A commitment to guarantee the health and safety of journalists

• Fair procedures for handling disputes and grievances

• Additional payments for overtime and expenses

• The provision of nursery care and 10 days of paternity leave

The importance of editorial independence is also recognised in the agreement and adherence to the PJS Code of Conduct is a central tool to enable journalists to resist political pressure – a key demand of Palestinian journalists.

Representatives of PJS branches in each of the 3 media groups, PJS Chairman Nasser Abu Bakker and IFJ Deputy General Secretary Jeremy Dear, signed today’s agreement alongside company representatives.

PJS Chairman Nasser Abu Bakker said: "This historic deal represents a real achievement for Palestinian journalists and will now open the door for a new step for the union to negotiate collective agreement for journalists in the private sector".

IFJ Deputy General Secretary Jeremy Dear welcomed the agreement. He said: “We warmly congratulate our Palestinian colleagues on this historic achievement which is a model for the region and beyond. At times when editorial independence and working conditions all over the world are under unprecedented pressure, to secure such a comprehensive and grounbreaking deal is a wonderful tribute to the work of the PJS and the unwavering commitment of Palestinian journalists to achieving social justice and ethical standards”.

 For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 16

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

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