The Nation Media Group (NMG) has joined a list of other media houses in the country that have slashed employees salaries as the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to take a toll on businesses.
But unlike its competitors, NMG spared members of its staff earning a monthly gross pay of less than Ksh50,000.
The pay reduction that ranges between 5-35 per cent depends on individual staff gross pay. The pay cuts take effect on May 1.
In a memo to all members of staff on Wednesday, Stephen Gitagama, the Group Chief Executive Officer, said the management took the decision following a drop in revenue due to the adverse effects of Covid-19 on businesses that advertise on its different media platforms.
“Management has so far undertaken several cost-saving interventions to keep the business running and continue to deliver services to our customers. As part of these measures, the Board of Directors have taken a reduction on their Directors’ fees, ” said Gitagama.
“However, in order to ensure sustenance of livelihoods of staff and their dependents during this challenging period, we have to do more, collectively. Consequently, we have taken a painful but necessary decision to temporarily reduce the gross pay for all staff earning a gross monthly pay of Kshs 50,000/= and over, effective from 1st May 2020.”
The CEO said the pay cuts will be reviewed after every three months depending on the revenue generated.
“This is an extremely tough decision, and we understand the impact this will have on you and your family. However, please be assured that we have considered several other alternatives, and the decision taken is the most sustainable option in the current circumstances. This unavoidable action is temporary and will be reviewed every three months depending on the company’s performance and as the COVID-19 situation evolves, ” he added.
To cushion employees amid the economic disruptions, Gitagama said the company has made special arrangements to restructure Company and Nation SACCO loans in a bid to offer employees flexible payment plans.
“Where required, we shall provide you with letters to present to your financial services providers for extension of any special incentives and/ or moratoriums that you may be eligible for as a result of this temporary salary reduction, ” the CEO said.
The company had last week slashed contributors and columnists’ pay by 40 per cent.
The latest comes at a time staff from Mediamax and Standard Media Group have taken the companies to court over forced pay cuts.
The staff in the two companies have obtained court orders barring the media firms from forcing or forcing them to take pay cuts.
Justice Bryam Ongaya last Friday restricted Mediamax from subjecting its employees to up to 50 per cent pay cuts unless the management proves that it’s unable to pay salaries.
At least 36 members of staff from the Media house, a majority being K24TV anchors, reporters and technical team, had moved to court seeking orders to compel the Mediamax management to stop intended salary cuts pending hearing and determination of the petition.
Other media companies, Royal Media and Radio Africa chose to slash the salaries by up to 30 per cent.
The media companies cited a drop in revenue as reason for the changes as companies had stopped or reduced their advertising budget following the unprecedented negative effects of COVID-19 on the economy.