The Chronicle Gambia
ALL SECTIONS
Header Prime Section Ad banner

Gambia – Journalists Battle To Escape Bondage Of Poor Wages And Precariousness

Journalists in The Gambia discussing the road to enforcing their Collective Agreement

Journalists in The Gambia might be championing the cause of people suffering of poor wages in the country. But the truth is that, except for a few, many journalists are poorly paid by their employers and little is done by media heads to correct this anomaly. As result, consultations have been engaged on ways to set up a Collective bargaining agreement (CBA) as a basis to legally enforce decent working conditions for journalists.

In August 2020, Mark Spilsbury an economic researcher conducted a survey on the pay and working conditions of Gambian journalists. He found that the average monthly salary is GMD 3,750, though there are cases of substantial spread beyond the average payment: “72% do not feel fairly rewarded for their work and mostly 71% get paid regularly and reliably. 78% feel they do not have all the equipment they need to do their job and 39% have suffered discrimination at work”, the researcher found.

A lot of journalists in The Gambia work without contracts. Freelancers are poorly paid by local media heads. Therefore, the Collective agreement in review is being campaigned by the Gambia press union (GPU). Journalists and media workers in unison, claimed in the GPU research that there is disconnect between their working conditions and the hardening living environment, year after year in the Gambia.

The ongoing discussions for the adoption and enforcement of the Collective Agreement intends to set the standards for collective bargaining and the right of the press Union to carry out activities in strict compliance with laws and regulation in force at the national level and the international conventions that the Gambia has signed and ratified as well as international best practices.

On Wednesday, while dwelling on the GPU findings and proceeding with a review of the CBA, Abdou Saidy, an official from the department of Labor said the exploitation of journalists by media heads begins from negotiating the terms of employment. “Employment without a letter being issued can lead to massive exploitation of the agreement between the employee and employer”. The precarious situation of a journalist can be worsen by the poor legal framework that seems to favor the media chief or employer. “The tripartite agreement period in The Gambia is three years, according to the labor Law”, he said.

Former minister of Information Demba Ali Jawo raised some concern over the implementation mechanisms of the proposed CBA. According to him, “There is need to further asked for legal enforcement approaches as a guide to making the CBA work

In response, Pa Louis Thomas, the Africa Director for the International Federation of journalists, said journalists need to put their house in order and prove to the government that CBA is working fine for journalists. He said media owners ought to critically look in the document that is being reviewed and append their signatures for the good of everyone. “If the document is signed and adopted, it means that it is legally binding and should be respected.”

Junkung Jobateh the Executive secretary of the Media Council of The Gambia said “We should not encourage oral contracts between journalists and media owners but instead media houses should provide contracts in written form to their employees.”

 

 

You might also like
1 Comment
  1. […] post Gambia – Journalists Battle To Escape Bondage Of Poor Wages And Precariousness appeared first on The Chronicle […]

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com