IBA reforms dominate journalists’ gathering

The key item on the agenda at the annual general meeting of the Jerusalem Journalists Association on Tuesday was a progress report by outgoing chairman Ahia “Hika” Ginossar on the long-delayed implementation of the reforms designed to make the IBA more technologically advanced, more cost efficient and able to operate with fewer staff.
The negotiations among the IBA management, the various unions within the IBA, the JJA, the Histadrut labor federation and the Finance Ministry has been going on for three years, and while management, the union representatives and the JJA have agreed on a significant number of issues, the Finance Ministry continues to put up stumbling blocks that prevent the signing of an agreement.
Sanctions are a means of blocking state-of-the-art technological equipment from entering the IBA’s premises. The upshot is that for the past few weeks, news anchors have been unable to use recorded inserts.
As far as cost cutting is concerned, the IBA’s executive board has approved a closing time of 11 p.m. for regular TV broadcasts, although the late night loop will continue.
The basic salary (without overtime, expenses and other sundry payments) for the highest ranking journalist in a nonmanagerial position who has worked for the IBA for 40 years is NIS 6,500 a month, Ginossar said. A beginning journalist is lucky to receive NIS 4,500.
Ginossar said salaries would be increased substantially, with the maximum basic salary of a journalist rising to NIS 12,000.
Negotiators for the journalists are also angling for a ceiling comprehensive salary that will include overtime, expenses, etc, of NIS 26,500 a month, but the Treasury wants it to be no higher than NIS 22,500.
Ginossar said if they had 10 years of tenure, both they and the employer would continue payments into their pension funds. They would also receive a salary increase of up to 10 percent that would increase their pensions.
For employees on a minimum salary, who will be among the hundreds that the IBA will have to let go, the JJA is urging a one-time grant of NIS 45,000.