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Members picket press syndicate, demand to pay dues in instalments

By Mohammad Ghazal - Mar 17,2015 - Last updated at Mar 17,2015

AMMAN — Dozens of journalists on Tuesday held a sit-in to demand that the Jordan Press Association (JPA) allow members to pay outstanding fees in instalments.

They called on the association to take into account the inability of many journalists to settle their dues during “such difficult financial conditions”.

The JPA asked its members last week to settle outstanding fees by the end of March or automatically lose their membership.

“This is unfair. This is a conspiracy against media outlets and journalists who are going through difficult conditions,” veteran journalist Asaad Azzuni said at the protest, held at the JPA premises.

Lama Abseh, a journalist at Ad Dustour daily, urged the JPA to look for a solution, as many JPA members are unable to settle fees before the end of March and it is “unfair that they lose their membership”.

“You have to at least extend the deadline,” Abseh added.

JPA President Tareq Momani said the association has no authority to change the law, which was amended in 2014 and clearly states that members who do not settle fees at the end of March each year lose their membership. 

“We cannot have a say in this. This is a law that has to be enforced on all,” Momani said, but added that the JPA will work on amending the law and look into this issue at a general assembly in April.

JPA members, who number 1,100, have to settle membership fees as well as contributions for the pension fund before the end of March every year.

Under the JPA Law, it is mandatory for journalists to subscribe to the fund, but they have the option to choose one of two categories.

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