Friday, August 22, 2008

SBC will get pay of blessings

SQB Shareholders Will Get Pay Off Blessings

By Pio Sioa

Samoalivenews: Cabinet has reversed an earlier decision not to award redundancy pay packages to the 10 staff members of SBC-TV, who will continue on as shareholders/employees of Samoa Quality Broadcasting, the new owners of the Government’s television and FM radio station.The Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi confirmed the Cabinet decision yesterday.“These staff members are officially employees of Government whose services as public servants are terminated once the new company takes over, so they are entitled to redundancy pay off packages,” PM Tuilaepa told Newsline.“It would be unfair not to grant them redundancy pay when they are still public servants.”The PM admitted that there was a mix up at the start when Cabinet initially decided not to grant the staff involved pay off salary packages.SBC-TV staff members who are non shareholders were the only ones entitled to redundancy pay packages in the earlier decision by Cabinet.The new Cabinet directive is understood to have sparked the Ministry of Finance and the Samoa Broadcasting Corporation into a scramble to re-organise the financial commitment to include those who were left out.The Corporation employs a staff of just of 30 people but a few have selected to stay on with AM Radio, formerly known as Radio 2AP, that will continue to remain with Government.The Minister of Communications and Chairperson of the SBC-TV, Safuneituuga Neri, earlier estimated around $500,000 will have to be budgeted by Government to meet its obligations.But that amount will now have to be adjusted upwards to cater for the additional staff.The new owners of SBC-TV have already paid $2 million tala required under the purchase agreement with Government, to own and operate the television and FM radio station privately.A date is yet to be set however for the official handing over of SBC-TV by Government to its new owners, Samoa Quality Broadcasting.