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Solidaires-Unitaires-Démocratiques à l’Agence France-Presse

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2014 Staff Elections: SUD-AFP Electoral Platform for Journalists

Saturday 13 September 2014

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

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You are called upon to take part in the union elections at AFP, via an online electronic vote, between October 10 and October 20. Here’s what’s at stake:

The key issue is to provide the representatives you’ll be electing with a clear mandate to ensure that they defend AFP, its general interest mission and the rights of its staff (i.e. you) in the face of threats both new and old.

You are asked to choose between candidate lists drawn up by the AFP unions to elect members of the Works Committee and staff delegates (délégués du personnel, or shop stewards) for three-year terms.

By taking part you will also help decide which unions gain representative status under French labour law. Only unions that meet the conditions are allowed to take part in talks with management, and to sign any resulting agreements.

In 2011, AFP staff voted to give SUD both representative status and elected officials. In the three years since then, we have worked hard to deserve a new vote of confidence on your part. In particular:

  • SUD has not given an inch in defending AFP’s founding statutes or demanding staff rights (such as money owed for holiday pay). We have worked unremittingly, guided by our basic principles of solidarity, staff unity, equality for all and democracy.
  • SUD has contributed to shared initiatives , within AFP and on broader fronts, to defend both union rights and the rights of citizens to free and unbiased news.
  • SUD has negotiated and signed collective agreements , and has even won a few new rights. Thanks to our court battle, the unjust nationality condition for participation in the election of staff representatives to the AFP board was struck down. We also gained an improvement in the career plan for journalists, plus progress on equality between women and men.
  • SUD has kept you informed ; we have provided arguments, documents and accounts of key meetings and talks, aimed at helping you make up your minds and get involved.

All of this is laid out in detail in our Union Progress Report for 2011-2014, available in both French and English at www.sud-afp.org

In the face of austerity policies, budget cuts and multi-pronged attacks on both our labour rights and the independence of AFP, SUD will continue to work for, and above all with, staff.

Wages, Jobs & Working Conditions

Wages and Purchasing Power - SUD demands overall wage increases and an extension of the career plan agreement beyond the first 20 years spent at the agency.

Time spent on call should be paid. Journalists’ qualifications must get better recognition.

No more cuts to the freelance budget! The rates paid for freelance work should be raised.

Jobs - SUD calls for a return to the right to retire at 60 with a good pension. That would make it possible to stop forcing older staff to work on for ever-longer periods before retiring, freeing up full status jobs for young people.

SUD is against the creation of a cut-rate editorial subsidiary (planned within “AFP Services”).

All launches of new activities should involve the creation of permanent (CDI) HQ-status jobs, and not insecure temporary contracts, redeployments or excessive hours.

Working Conditions – The issue of work-life balance is no longer taboo. But management still has to draw all the relevant conclusions, such as respect for legal working hours.

Staff Mobility – We want rules applicable to all, with clear rights and duties.

Give SUD the Means To Go On and Step Up Its Activities!

Voting runs from October 10th to 20th

NB: Our electoral lists are published on the AFP intranet