The government has constituted a new Wage Board to propose a new structure for salary and other benefits of journalists and employees working in newspapers and news agencies.
"The government has formed the Ninth Wage Board... comprising equal number of representatives of owners, journalists and employees/workers of the newspapers and news agencies and a chairman," an official circular said on Monday.
It said the 13-member body was formed in line with the Section 143 of Bangladesh Labour Act, 2006, with retired Appellate Division Justice Mohammed Nizamul Huq as its chairman.
The owners who were made members of the body are: Newspaper Owners' Association of Bangladesh (NOAB) President Matiur Rahman, Vice-President AK Azad, Treasurer Motiur Rahman Chowdhury, Members Mahfuz Anam and Tasmima Hossain and Convener of Bangladesh Sangbadpatra Parishad (BSP) MG Kibria Chowdhury.
Journalists' representatives of the board are Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) President Manjurul Ahsan Bulbul and BFUJ Secretary General Omar Faruk.
Newspaper employees and workers are being represented in the board by Bangladesh Newspaper Workers' Federation (BNWA) President M Motiur Rahman Talukder, BNWA Secretary General M Khairul Islam, Bangladesh Federal Union of Newspaper Press Workers (BFUNPW) President Mohammad Alamgir Hossian Khan and BFUNPW Secretary General Mohammad Kamal Uddin.
According to the circular, Information Ministry's Joint Secretary M Mizan-Ul-Alam will perform as the secretary of the Ninth Wage Board.
The board has been asked to submit its full proposal to the authority concerned for enhancing the salary, allowances and fringe benefits of the journalists, general workers and press employees in the next six months.
It said the board was asked to consider the issues of cost of living, newspapers capacity, comparative structures of salaries for services in government and private corporations while recommending the proposed enhancement.
But for the interim period until the formulation of the proposal, the board was entrusted with the task of recommending dearness allowances.
The circular said the board was asked to formulate a set of recommendations for the workers in the electronic media reviewing the legal perspectives.