Palestinian Journalists Syndicate Prepare Historic Collective Bargaining Negotiations

The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) and the IFJ are, this week, preparing negotiators for the final stages of the collective bargaining process agreed with the the state-owned broadcaster the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation, the national news agency WAFA and the daily newspaper Alhayat Aljadeeda. The next round of negotiations with the management are expected to take place before the end of the year. Meanwhile, PJS negotiators are holed up in a Ramallah workshop with the IFJ and the Norwegian Union of Journalists leading negotiator, Finn Våga. The training is focused on improving negotiation skills of PJS activists and build on an earlier workshop in April that produced a blue print for the collective agreement. The negotiations were first launched in October 2013 when the PJS and the three media managements signed the ‘Declaration of Intention to Reach Collective Agreements Between Palestinian State Owned Media and Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate.’ In order to guarantee basic journalists' rights, the 2013 agreement acknowledges at its starting point (i) recognition of the right to Freedom of Association including the right of journalists to join and establish trade unions in these media houses, (ii) a commitment to issue secure employment contracts for journalists and (iii) the right to work in decent conditions that guarantee professional standards and editorial independence. “This is a truly significant moment for Palestinian journalists,” said Abdal Nasser Najjar, PJS President. “This training will ensure that the PJS are able to negotiate the best conditions possible for their colleagues.” On the last day of the workshops, the PJS leadership and the branch leaders will agree the preparation and time frame for the final negotiation process.