The Union Cabinet will consider on Tuesday the recommendations of the Wage Boards which has proposed up to three-time hike in basic pay of journalists and non-journalists in print media and fixing the retirement age at 65.
Sources said the Labour and Employment Ministry has moved the Cabinet note in this regard which will be taken up by the Cabinet meeting to be chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The note is understood to have suggested that the Cabinet may take a view which would be subject to the final orders of the Supreme Court which is hearing a writ petition challenging the recommendations of the Majithia Wage Boards, the sources said.
The recommendations of the Wage Boards for Working Journalists, Non-Journalists and other newspaper employees, submitted to the government on December 31 last year, has been hanging fire for the past 10 months as some media organisations have challenged these.
The Supreme Court on September 21 had given the go-ahead to the government to examine and consider the award of the Wage Boards and pass appropriate orders thereupon.
The Law Ministry, whose view was earlier sought by the Labour Ministry, had said “there appears to be no legal or constitutional objection if approval of the Cabinet is solicited for the proposal... as the same relates to the matter of policy with which we may concur.”
Aggrieved employees of newspapers and news agencies had on October 14 staged nation-wide protest against the Centre’s “failure” to notify the recommendations for revision of their salaries.
As per the recommendations, fixation of the basic pay will comprise the existing basic pay plus variable DA and the interim rates of wage of 30 per cent of basic pay.
In addition, a variable pay component will be added to the basic pay at 35 per cent of newspaper establishment in category I to IV and I to II for news agencies.
For remaining categories of newspapers and news agencies the rate of increase shall be at the rate of 20 per cent.
The DA shall be paid bi-annually every year.
The recommendations say that the newspaper establishments should be classified into 8 categories as against the existing 11 categories and news agencies into 4 categories based on gross revenue.
As an incentive to the newspaper employees for enhancing productivity, every employee shall be given at least three promotions during his entire service career.
Every part-time correspondent and part-time photographer shall be paid not less than 40 per cent if he/she is posted at district headquarters and not less than 30 per cent if posted at a place below district headquarters, of the basic wage plus DA applicable to full time correspondent.