Employees of the national broadcaster, GRTS, have been presented with a surprise New Year’s gift which saw a 100% increase in staff allowances and pay package.
The surprise news was broken to the staff by Director General Ebrima Sillah at the institution’s quarterly general staff meeting yesterday.
A source who attended the meeting told The Standard that the announcement was greeted with “a thunderous applause” from staff members who until now were demotivated because of low pay with some already opting to join new TV stations being set up.
Our source said the matter of the augmented allowance increase to more than 100% of staff take home was first presented to the board in July of 2017 but was deferred with management tasked to fulfill and meet specific benchmarks to improve the financial situation of the institution first.
“By December 2017, all the performance benchmarks have been met with GRTS management paying off all its debts with commercial banks and clearing off all its overdraft facilities. The institution was able to register a 36% revenue turnover,” the source said.
Addressing the jubilant staff, our source said the GRTS DG however cautioned them to work harder for the institution to regain the respectability, credibility and trust of the viewers. He warned that quality programming and institutional discipline will not be compromised especially under “the new transformative agenda” being implemented by the institution. The new increases in allowances and pay will take effect in January 2018.
Meanwhile, in an unrelated matter, Director General Sillah has clarified that the advent of new television stations will not be a threat to GRTS but rather “a blessing in disguise”. He said he did not specifically named QTV as was wrongly attributed to him yesterday in this medium by reporter Juldeh Njie. The error is regretted.