First Look

PAJ invites media workers to discuss trade union representation

Press Association Jamaica Of Jamaica | 2016-05-09 00:00:00

The Press Association will be highlighting the issue of trade union representation of media workers, at a special meeting on Sunday, May 15, 2016.

“Throughout our term in office, over and over, journalists, especially the younger reporters, have been asking about the PAJ’s role in assisting them with improving their working conditions, including, of course, salaries,” says PAJ President Dionne Jackson Miller.

“Our standard response has been that this isn’t the role of the PAJ. However, it is clearly a matter of such deep concern that we felt the PAJ had an obligation to lead a discussion on the issue,” she explained.

Head of the Hugh Lawson Shearer Trade Union Institute Danny Roberts has therefore been asked to address a meeting at PAJ Headquarters at 2 pm on Sunday, May 15th. The meeting is open to all media workers, whether they are members of the Press Association or not.

Mr. Roberts has been asked on speak on issues including:

-          - What are the possibilities for some kind of representative body (not necessarily the PAJ) to assist journalists, especially in the current environment where many media practitioners are free-lacers or contract workers?
-        -   What are the possible structures and functions of such a body?
-          - How effective could such a body be?
-      -     What kind of power/authority could such an organisation have to negotiate for/intercede for media practitioners on issues of working conditions/disciplinary matters?

“Given the rapidly evolving nature of the media landscape, and the increasing clamour of media workers for better salaries and working conditions, this meeting is felt to be extremely timely, given the concerns being expressed by media workers themselves,” says Jackson Miller.

The meeting will be preceded by a Special General Meeting of the PAJ at 12 noon, to discuss the question of membership fees, and the call of the international press freedom organisation Reporters Without Borders for  a Special Representative to the UN Secretary General for the safety of journalists.

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