KAMPALA – Nation Media Group- Uganda (NMG-U) has followed their sister company in Kenya by deducting salaries of staff as the media industry continues to take a big hit from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
In the same vein, Vision Group, the publishers of New Vision, Bukedde, and others have also laid off hundreds of staff.
The NMG-U head of human resource Moses Ssesanga, in letters to staff said, there will be salary deductions for the months of May, June and July. For those earning between Shs1 million and Shs3 million, there will be deductions of 10%. Those of between Shs3m and Shs5m will suffer 15% deductions, Shs5m and Shs10m will suffer 20% cuts, Shs10m-Shs15m 25% and above Shs15m will forfeit 30%. However, those below Shs1m will not suffer any deductions.
NMG Uganda owns Daily Monitor, NTV Uganda, Enyanda, KFM, Dembe FM, and other companies.
This comes two weeks after Nation Media Group (NMG) Kenya announced massive salary cuts. NMG Group CEO Steven Gitagama said all staff earning above Kshs50,000 (about UGX1.7m) will suffer a cut, which will be determined by the company.
The pay cut ranges from 5% for the lower end of the target group and 35% for the high-end, including the CEO, Mr Stephen Gitagama. Even directors have taken a pay cut on their earnings.
The pay reduction took effect from 1 May 2020.
In the same vein, Vision Group Uganda has terminated several staff as the company struggles to deal with low sales due to coronavirus, PML Daily has learnt.
Hardly three days after sending staff on forced leave without pay, the company has now laid off several staff.
The move comes 15 days after the State-owned company announced huge salary cuts for staff.
Sources at Vision Group said that the affected staff have been picked from different departments and business units, including New Vision, Bukedde TV, Radio and the Newspaper. Others are Urban TV, TV West, Orumuri, Rupiny and Etop, among others.
The source added that staff morale is low given that those not laid off have suffered huge salary cuts.
Vision Group Chief Executive Officer Robert Kabushenga, in a letter dated April 30, informed all staff that the business has been negatively impacted by the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in a more severe manner than could have been foreseen.
“This necessitates that for the first time in sixteen years management has to take drastic measures to reduce the wage bill,” he said.
The Vision boss added that employees will receive full pay for the month of April 2020 but will effect gross salary reduction effective May 2020 of 60% for employees “who earn above Shs19m, 45% for those between Shs8m-9m and 40% for those who earn below Shs8m.”