The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has received a certificate of unionisation from the Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC) after decades of attempts to get one.

This was revealed by GJA President, Affail Monney, at a press conference in Accra on Friday, September 22. He added that his office will begin a registration drive to increase the number of members to capture more practitioners from the private sector.

This, Mr Monney believes, will increase the negotiation powers of the GJA to have better conditions of service for media practitioners.

Mr Monney said the GJA has met the deadline by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) for the unionisation of media associations by 2018.

According to him, it has been challenging during the process to have the GJA unionised, and so the association “passed a resolution in 2011 to metamorphose into a trade union” under the then-president Ransford Tetteh.

He pointed out that “September 12 is the exact date we gave birth to the unionisation baby which has been incubating for six years”.

“Unionised employees make an average of 30 per cent more pay than non-unionised workers”, Mr Monney said, adding: “Ninety-two per cent of union workers have health related coverage. Union workers enjoy guaranteed pensions. These facts and many more contrast sharply with the general conditions of media workers in Ghana. A recent survey by the TUC on the wages and working conditions of media workers, indeed, highlighted the blatant but heartrending reality that media practitioners are among the poorly paid in Ghana.”

“In some worse case scenarios, many journalists are not paid at all. One may ask ‘what crime has the affected or struggling journalists committed for them to be condemned to the pauperised community?’ Thank God the pitiable, ignoble and horrible narrative will be consigned to the dustbin of history as the GJA has now been legally empowered to fight for the industrial and professional rights of media workers in Ghana,” he added.

For his part, TUC Deputy General Secretary, Joshua Ansah, lamented the “precarious nature and working conditions of journalists especially those in the private sector”, adding that the “TUC and all of us gathered here see today’s occasion as a very big opportunity to work today to have more [negotiation] power”.

He commended the GJA leadership for the efforts that has resulted in the success of the unionisation.


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