Referencing last month’s meeting with the reporters, the Torit diocesan cleric said the staff attached to the radio station had been told that “from this little money we need to save something for you, at the end when you are finishing the contract, it is always good to get something small.”
The cleric further explained, “Because of these taxes, the amount reduced because somebody who is getting US$200.00 gets US$153.00 as the net salary which he takes – and out of that there is taxes and something that is saved as the end of the contract kind of benefit.”
“I do not know whether they are reacting to that because they did not even tell us,” Fr. Lounoi said and added, “If they are reacting (to that), they are reacting after a long time.”
The priest explained that in their discussion with the staff in January, the management had clarified, “We have no choice because with the government we have to follow the law if we have to pay taxes.”
Asked about the general salary range at Emmanuel Radio, he disclosed, “There are those who get US$100.00, US$200.00, US$300.00, and US$400.00, then up to US$900.00 after deductions. The highest (salary) is US$1500.00.”
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“We signed contracts in January and they are ending in June (2020). Now I was saying when they were signing these contracts in January, they should have raised these issues and we would have discussed whether they were willing or not,” the priest said.
According to the radio Director, “Usually when in contract, I really don’t know if you can strike because this is something you are told that this is what we have and if you feel you are not okay with it, the option is always (to) go and get a better pay (elsewhere).”
“My problem with them,” Fr. Lounoi told ACI Africa in reference to the reporters on strike, “After all this time, they never even raised in a meeting that we are complaining; they never brought up the issue. If they were to bring the issue to us, we would discuss, because our position was you know these things are based on contracts and the increment is maybe when we have the income.”
Commenting on the petition to the Bishop, Fr. Lounoi explained that such administrative matters are resolved at the Vicar General’s office since he is the one in charge of staff in the diocese.
However, since the reporters addressed themselves to the Bishop, Fr. Lounoi said, they will need to await the Bishop’s return from Juba.