A gazette notification, hiking the salaries and other allowances of the working journalists/other employees of newspapers/news agencies, as recommended by the wage boards headed by Justice G.R. Majithia, is likely to be issued by March-end after Cabinet approval.
The new wage structure will take effect from July 1, 2010 and the managements are required to pay the arrears for the period until the increased wages are included in the regular pay.
Labour and Employment Secretary P.C. Chathurvedi told The Hindu on Friday that the Cabinet note on the boards' recommendations was circulated to the Ministries of Information and Broadcasting, Law and Justice, Corporate Affairs and Finance and once the feedbacks were received, the note would be placed before the Cabinet. “I don't think there will be any problem in getting the Cabinet nod and if everything goes well the notification may be issued by March,” he said.
Meanwhile, Justice Majithia said he had given a “justifiable and reasonable hike in wages and other perks of the employees” considering all the aspects — revenue from the advertisement, circulation, annual growth rate, labour cost and financial strength — of the cross-section of the media managements. “The new wages were not recommended in excess. I did my job in a very honest and principled way and it is to be kept in mind that no employee could work with empty stomach.”
Justice Majithia said the boards had concluded that the labour cost of the industry (management) ranged from 10-14 per cent of the total cost. The goal was to “transform the quality of life and give them [the employees] access to good health, education and economic opportunities.”