The Main Board of the Trade Union of Media of Montenegro sent an initiative / appeal to media owners, founders of local public broadcasters, the management of Radio Television of Montenegro and the Ministry of Culture, requesting that state aid to the media during the epidemiological crisis be relocated to the employees also.
“Since the outbreak of the epidemiological crisis in Montenegro, none of the media workers has felt that the state has helped the media in any way, although the data show that more than 600,000 euros were poured into the media accounts.
One of the first measures of the Government of Montenegro to combat the consequences of the new crisis was to help the media and it was reflected in money and various benefits. It continued for months, concluding last week’s decision of the Council of the Electronic Media Agency to release media fees for another quarter installment. There is no precise data on how much money each media outlet received, but from what can be found out, it is clear that there is almost no media outlet that has not been helped in some way, even though the crises did not interrupt its work.
At the same time, employees in the media, doing their job that is in the public interest, were much more engaged in work, working in conditions in which the chance of infection and disease is great, both in the newsrooms and in the field. A number of colleagues also used the legal possibility of absence from work due to the care of children under the age of 11, some of them fell ill or were in self-isolation … all this increased the scope of work for those who remained. They were not rewarded in any way for that overtime and work beyond the standard norm, or even paid in accordance with the law.
That is why the SMCG demands that this injustice be corrected and that the people who have endured, and continue to endure, the greatest burden of the crisis caused by the corona virus be given a decent compensation for that work. We demand that the municipalities that are the founders of local public broadcasters urgently address this problem and that private media do the same because we believe that state money that they received in abundance must be spent for the benefit of employees, not just pour into the pockets of owners. We send the same request to the management of the Public Service.
We are also asking to be published how much cash each media outlet received, and on what basis, and how much other benefit and from which sources. We believe that there was enough money, but that the Government did not do enough to control its spending.
Earlier, we demanded that the money shouldn’t be given to the media that lay off workers during 2020 and that this has to be a condition for receiving this sudden state aid, so we ask that the public be informed about this information – whether and which media fired employees during the crisis”, it is stated in the Main board’s apeal.