Pensions... who foots the bill?
Currently, the Goa Union of Journalists is seized with the issue of pensions for retiring journalists. Priviledged as we are, this is the only private sector class of employees who not only get our wages regulated by the government, but also now get a (even if nominal) pension in Goa. Thanks to the Parrikar government's sense of priorities, a retiring journalist is now entitled to Rs 1000 by way of a government pension. But, journos were quick to realise, this is hardly sufficient. So, they want a hike to Rs 3000 pm. Of course, the Rane government (till now at least) and the bureaucrats taking the decision, put their foot down. If retiring journalists want more pensions, then they need to contribute more, they argued. (Obviously, the reserves would run out fast otherwise.) But, to add to the complications, the younger journalists resent the fact that they would have to pay a hiked-up contribution, so that an elder already-retired segment (who never paid any contributions) could get a three-fold hike in pensions. This view came out strongly at the 2006 union general body. To make things even worse, the managements, who were supposed to contribute to the kitty and build the pensions' fund, are unwilling to do so. Or have just pointedly refused! So that's where things stands. A complex issue indeed!