Radio Jonglei journalists protest against poor administration

By Manyuon Mayen Manyuon

The local journalists working for Radio Jonglei 95.9 FM based in Bor are protesting what they described as “weird administrative policies” after the management recurrently fired some of their colleagues for demanding salary increment, a claim the management denied.

The group also claimed that they were promised salary increment after they had wanted to lay down their tools over low salary earlier this year which didn’t materialize.

However in March, they said two of their colleagues were deliberately sacked after leading a committee to follow up their salary increment.  

One of the female journalists was fired while on maternity leave few days ago for not showing up at work a month after she delivered, the group claim.

Last week, four other reporters were sacked for complaining for salary increments after they were promised salary increment in March.

Prior to the sacking of the four journalists, all the reporters except some in the management unit laid down tools on Friday asking the administration to implement its policies.

They have also threatened not to return to work until their salaries were increased.

Biar Valentino, a team leader of the striking team said they would continue to lay down their tools until the Radio Management responds.

Mabang Kur Lual, a former presenter of the morning show program in Radio Jonglei said the amount of money they have been receiving was not coping with the current context of the pandemic.

He said they have opted to stay at home rather than reporting to where their expectations won’t be considered.

“It is very small money and it cannot even cope with the situation of COVID-19.”

Lual said they were demanding the administration to increase the money to150 dollars instead of usual 7,850 SSP. 

“The other thing is a contract, we have been working for 7 months since we were promised to be given a contract in March. We spent 7 months and never given the contract,” he said.

He said at least 6 journalists have been fired since this year begun over such misunderstanding.

Rev. Tijwog Agwet, the Director for Radio Jonglei 95.9 FM in Bor said the people who were on strike were volunteers but not their staffs. 

“These are individuals, we still have our Radio running and we have all our journalists at the Station,” he said.

“We don’t need their service anymore because they are not providing what we expected of them,” he added.

He dismissed the allegations that 6 reporters were fired due to victimization, instead they had failed to abide by management policies, adding that “It is not true, the other staffs were dismissed because of poor behaviors”.

Rev. Agwet also rubbished the allegations that a female journalist was sacked while on maternal leave.

“This lady went on maternity leave since last year and now we are talking of July 2020, and even there is no maternity leave for her, she is not a staff. She is a volunteer,” he stated.

The Director concluded that they were not interested in seeing those reporters back since they have shown high degree of negligence.

“In fact, we don’t need them. We don’t need people now. The journalists we have at the Radio Station are operating the Radio more than even before. So we will not have them back even if we have money,” he said.

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