The Sabah Journalists Association (SJA) has welcomed the assurance given by newspaper editors on possible direct negotiations pertaining to the salary and work benefits of local journalists.
SJA President Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said a better salary and work benefits would augur well towards motivating the journalists to be more productive and strive for quality.
Nevertheless, the predicament of local journalists could be better dealt with if they could form a union, he told l3ernama here yesterday.
He said the proposed setting up of a I union for journalists in
“It could serve as a plat form to foster better understanding and cooperation between journalists and the management or employers for a win- win solution,” he said.
On Wednesday, several local newspaper editors said journalists in Sabah could negotiate their salaries and work benefits directly with their employers rather than having a third party do it for them.
However, they said although the idea of forming a union for journalists in the State was not considered a bad idea, they felt a representative body for the local professionals was not necessary.
Joniston said: “Some of the local newspaper editors are also former NUJ (National Union of Journalists) members and I believe they understand the benefits of having a union.”
The idea of forming a union was mooted at a recent dialogue between NUJ and local journalists organized by. SJA following complaints that they were underpaid and deserved better benefits as professionals.
It was revealed during the dialogue that some journalists including those with degrees earn less than RM1,000 and. are deprived of medical benefits, among others. Joniston said