Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists on Tuesday announced a series of programmes, including hunger strike, for formation of the 9th wage board and repeal of section 57 of the ICT Act.
The programmes also include human chains and processions across the country, hunger strike and grand rally in Dhaka.
Announcing the programmes at a press conference at National Press Club in the capital, BFUJ president Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul called upon the media men to make those a success.
BFUJ secretary general Omar Faruqe read out a written statement at the press conference.
The journalist leaders will exchange views with different mass-media related institutions and organisations on their demands till August 31.
They will join rallies, human chains and processions in different districts from September 9-18 to drum up support for their demands.
A daylong hunger strike will be held at National Press Club on September 20.
A rally of different journalists’ organisations will take place in front of the secretariat on September 24.
Journalists, workers and employees of the media outlets will hold a grand rally in the capital in the first week of October.
BFUJ president Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul said that a group of people, including the owners, were spreading confusion over the formation of the 9th wage board.
In the written statement, Omar Faruque said the 8th wage board was formed on June 18, 2012 and a gazette in this regard was published on September 11, 2013.
‘So, the new wage board was supposed to be constituted after five years in June this year,’ he said.
The BFUJ secretary general said the salary structure of government employees was doubled in 2015.
But the pay structure of the journalists was not revised, he said, adding that the non-declaration of the 9th wage board has caused immense sufferings to their families.
Following the last pay scale, he said, the government officials are getting basic salary of Tk 86,000 in the special grade, while journalists are getting Tk 35,875.
A trainee government official is getting Tk 22,000 during the probationary period in Garde-9, while an apprentice journalist is receiving only Tk 12,600 in Grade-4.
Journalists are lagging behind the government officials not only in terms of pay, but also in respect of their dignity for the six steps.
Faruque said that the minimum wage structure is determined by the wage board.
In 1974, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman enacted the Newspaper Services Act to fix the dignity and salary structure of the journalists but this law is not being implemented despite repeated demands from the journalists.
Responding to a question on bringing the electronic and online media under the 9th wage board, the BFUJ president said, ‘We are continuing our efforts ... we hope the electronic and online media could be brought under the ninth wage board.’
BFUJ treasurer Madhusudan Mondal, joint secretary general Amiya Ghatak Pulak, Dhaka Union of Journalists president Shaban Mahmud and general secretary Sohel Haider Chowdhury were present at the press conference, among others.
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