The wage board, formed in January last year, has drawn opposite reactions from the newspaper owners and the journalists
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader on Sunday said, a final decision on the Ninth Wage Board for journalists and employees of newspapers, and news agencies will be taken soon, with advice from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
He made the remark after a meeting at the ministry in Dhaka, organized to assess the recent statements of all relevant stakeholders, including the Newspaper Owners’ Association of Bangladesh (NOAB), other journalist organizations and leaders, and employees of media houses regarding the wage board.
Quader, who also heads the cabinet committee formed to implement the wage board, said: “No concrete decision has been made. We have listened to everyone’s statements for the last time. Now we will sit separately with the cabinet members.”
He added: “After talking to the cabinet, we will take the matter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, to seek her advice before announcing the final decision. I expect it will not take much time.”
The Ninth Wage Board was formed in January last year to propose a new structure for salary and other benefits for journalists and employees working in newspapers, and news agencies.
NOAB last week had urged the government to discuss the recommendations of the wage board with stakeholders, including newspaper owners, to find a realistic, and acceptable solution before issuing it in the gazette.
It also said that an unrealistic wage board will pose a great threat to the newspaper industry which is currently going through the toughest time ever.
However, Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists, and Dhaka Union of Journalists on Saturday said NOAB’s statement was "morally unacceptable", and "unrealistic.”
The organizations said, the journalist community was shocked, and expressed concern over the NOAB statement, saying: "The unions unanimously disagree with the statement made by the newspaper owners.”