The Labour and Employment Ministry on Friday notified the recommendations of the Justice G.R. Majithia Wage Boards for the journalists and other employees of the newspapers/news agencies, which was approved by the Union Cabinet on October 25.

The revised wages, Dearness Allowance and variable pay, will be applicable to over 40,000 journalists and other employees from July 1, 2010, and the increased allowances like - House Rent, Travel, Medical, Hardship and Leave Travel will be applicable from November 11, 2011. The notification is issued subject to the final verdict of the Supreme Court, which is hearing into the petitions filed by some of the newspaper managements challenging the recommendations of the wage boards.

The Wage Boards were constituted in May 2007 and the Boards, led by former Mumbai High Court Judge Justice G.R. Majithia, gave their reports to the Centre on December 31, 2010.

Labour Minister Mallikarjun Kharge said the government was taking various steps to protect the media and their employees and pointed out that he cleared the file regarding the notification despite being on tour in Gulbarga.

The Wage Boards have classified jobs into six groups and accordingly suggested six scales in each class of establishment.

The revised pay scale is based on the old basic pay plus Dearness Allowance (D.A.) admissible up to June 2010, plus 30 per cent of the basic pay which is being given as an interim relief.

The revised rate of dearness allowance is to be computed on the basis of the average all-India Consumer Price Index Number for Industrial Worker (2001=100) for the preceding twelve months compiled by the Labour Bureau and will become operative with effect from July 1, 2010.

The revised pay comprises of the variable pay at the rate of 35 per cent for the employees working in the first four classes of newspaper establishments (first two classes of news agencies) and 20 per cent for the bottom four classes of newspaper establishments (bottom two classes of news agencies).

The variable pay should be added to the revised basic pay for calculation of all allowances. The rate of neutralization of dearness allowance should be 100 per cent of basic pay for calculation of all the allowances.

The House Rent Allowance should be at the rate of 30 per cent, 20 per cent and 10 per cent and accordingly areas/cities should be classified into three categories i.e. X, Y and Z for this purpose.

The transport allowance should be 20 per cent, 10 per cent and 5 per cent in the respective areas defined as X, Y and Z. Night shift allowance should range between Rs. 100 and Rs. 50 for different classes of establishments.

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