News / 04.03.2011

Audiovisual translators reach agreement

One of the parties in the negotiation, SDI Media withdrew from the agreement at the very last moment. The other transnational translation company, Broadcast Text International broke off the negotiations shortly after they began in the spring last year.

“The new agreement is an opening in the right direction. It is rather unfortunate that two big transnational audiovisual companies have stayed outside the agreement. Also we shall soon find out the attitude of YLE towards the new agreement and whether it will transfer some of its translation work to firms which are parties to the agreement in its recent translation outsourcing plans”, says Petri Savolainen, director at the Union of Journalists in Finland.

The new agreement is built on the foundation of the joint freelance journalists agreement of between YLE and MTV3. It is a two-year agreement from 1.3.2011-30.9.2013 but minimum salaries and fees will become binding in January next year.

Parties to the agreement are Journalists Union, the union of translators and interpreters as (SKTL) well as specialist translators under the Confederation of Union of Professionals.

Labour Council to challenge Broadcast Text

Trade unions are preparing a labour council process to examine particularly the employment status of translators of Broadacast Text.  A labour council in 2006 examined the labour rights of  MTV3 freelance translators and found that the translators should be employed – which is this context means MTV3 should contribute to the pensions, pay their social welfare benefits as well provide them paid holidays. There are not precedents of similar decisions on the work of translators in Finland. 

According to income statistics the incomes of audiovisual translators are one-third or maximum two-thirds of those freelance workers within the joint agreement of YLE and MTV3.

“Paying rock-bottom fees and forced entrepreneurship precisely say something about the low income level which these audiovisual translators have in relation to freelance translators of television companies”, concludes Savolainen.

Translated by Linus Atarah


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