After two and a half years of negotiations, stakeholders in Cameroonian media circles have agreed to sign a number of agreements which will, among other issues, guarantee higher salaries for Cameroonian journalists.
A reliable source close to the Cameroonian journalists’ union said that talks for the signing of the “national collective agreement for journalists and professionals of related social communication trades ended last week-end in the country’s capital, Yaoundé.
According to the source, “Members of the joint commission unanimously proposed 15 April to the Cameroonian Labour and Welfare minister for the official signing of the national agreement for journalists and professionals of social communication related trades.”
The source said the meeting for the adoption of the media agreement had been deadlocked over salary scale and some demands by media owners that the State implement the Florence Accords and their Nairobi addenda on communication equipment.
“After several rounds of talks, media owners and representatives of professional organisations agreed on the salary scale. They wished that the provision on salaries should comply with the 1985 Act setting salaries in the Cameroonian economy’s second tertiary sector”, Mr. Mathias Louis Bell, inspector at the Labour and Welfare ministry and also chairman of the joint commission, noted.
The national agreements were examined and approved by the commissioners in the Labour and Welfare ministry at the end of the negotiations.
It’s not the first time that the signing of this agreement has been announced. It had been postponed twice: 10 December 2007 and 25 January 2008.
According to the Cameroonian Labour and Welfare Minister Robert Nkili, “the first deadlines were not met as the bill needed to be tidied up and make the texts of press owners who so far had been absent from the talks adopted”.
Cameroonian journalists have reportedly been working under poor conditions and salaries. Panapress.