Kampala, Uganda | URN | Vision Group, the publishers of New Vision and Bukedde newspapers, will cut staff salaries by up to 60 per cent starting next month due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
A notice from the Managing Director to staff Thursday 30th, April, 2020 said: “for the first time in sixteen years management has taken drastic measures to reduce the wage bill.”
This is because, the note said, “the recent downturn requires even more stiff measures to keep the business viable.”
The company says it will pay full salary for April 2020. However, it will effect gross salary reduction effective May. 60 per cent will be cut from those earning above Shs 19 million. Those earning between Shs 8m and 19m will take a 45 per cent cut. Those earning below Shs 8m will take a 40 per cent salary cut.
“The position will remain in place until further notice,” the letter read.
The communication pointed out that further measures are still being discussed and staff will be notified accordingly. Three staff members have confirmed to this publication that they have received the notice. One noted that the note raised “anxiety among some staff” despite the fact they understood most businesses were facing hard times.
The shutdown of businesses to stop the spread of COVID-19 has hit the key revenue to the group – that is the advertisements in the New Vision newspaper and commercial printing for other businesses.
Also, although not a big moneymaker, the channels for the sale of newspapers have been interrupted with disruptions in transportation and the fact that many vendors have gotten off streets.
A lot of companies are cutting down their costs – by laying off staff, cutting pay – to ensure they survive the COVID-19 crisis. Vision Group also runs TV West, Radio West, XFM and Urban TV.