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COVID-19: Salary payment, new measures in 17 media houses

BEFORE the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, some media organisations regularly default in payment of salaries and allowances of their staff. Now the situation has become worse as nearly all the major media houses are unable to meet their obligations.

While some are still unable to pay, others pay a percentage of basic salaries, and there are indications of forced leave and possible lay off of staff.

Media Career spoke with staff of many media organisations in the country on the payment of their salaries and other measures already announced or being considered to cope with the impact of COVID-19. We reproduce the responses below:

The Cable

Salaries are paid when due. March salary was paid

On March 23 and April salary on the 21st. Data allowance doubled during the lockdown. No salary cuts. Salaries were increased across the board in February before COVID-19.

THISDAY

THISDAY has only paid December salary in March. We are yet to receive any salary for this year.

Three weeks ago, the Chairman sent a memo to all staff saying that some people have been receiving salary without input.

He asked that we send the links to all the stories we have been writing since January till date to him after which payment will be processed in 24 hours (Three weeks ago). As I speak, even after sending all the links, no payment has been made.

We are yet to get any 2020 salary. Meanwhile, Arise staff have been duly paid.

Premium Times

Premium Times is not owing us. They pay our salaries on the exact date. They also pay us transport allowance during the COVID crisis too.

Daily Independent

We have not been paid for April. We have even not fully received out February salary. We have not heard about whether they want to cut salary, but there are rumours that they want to downsize. I don’t know when and how they want to do it.

Daar (AIT/RAYPOWER)

Staffers were paid N30,000 across the board for the current salaries. This excludes past salaries.

TV/RADIO

There have been issues before now as regards salary payment as they claim money isn’t coming in as much but we were still getting paid. But since April, there has been a price slash of 25 per cent for those earning 100, 000 and above. 20 per cent for those earning between 70, 000 and 100, 000,  15 per cent for those earning between 30, 000 and 70 000. For those below 30, 000, there’s no cut.

Leadership

LEADERSHIP has not been paying even before the pandemic. Staff survive from events and adverts they are able to source.

BusinessDay

We have not been paid for the month of April. No word yet from our HR on the decision to slash or take compulsory leave. There hasn’t been a delay in the past.

Sun

We have a delay in payment, so we can’t confirm the percentage cut yet.

New Telegraph

Only 80 per cent of the salary was paid. The initial rumour at the office was that there wouldn’t be salary for April because there were no sales, let alone adverts.

But the MD surprised everyone and paid 80 per cent. Even though management argued for half salary.

But we don’t know what is going to happen in May. The situation caused by coronavirus, is actually a trying one for journalists and media houses.

For the safety of our lives, the management asked us to work from home, which most of us had been doing. The move is also to reduce the number of people in the office.

There are people, who have to be in the office but don’t have means of transportation like me.

Management made provisions to pick them from their nearest bus stops, while those that have cars, sometimes pick those living close to them.

Another measure was the cutting down on pages. These days, we choose days to go to the office or you work from home. But people go to the office on their busiest days. Some don’t even come at all, but send their stories. Journalism can never be the same ever again

Daily Trust

50 per cent reduction for those on level 13 upward; 30 per cent reduction for others, and annual leave has been  cancelled.

The reduction also affect allowances. This is for the first three months: April, May and June. It will be reviewed later this month

The Guardian

Half salary is paid at The Guardian  as a result of dwindling revenue during the lockdown.

No indication of forced leave or sack yet. Those who weren’t in the core units such as newsroom and stayed at home during the 5 weeks lockdown also got 50 per cent.

Tribune

April has not been paid yet, and we have not yet got wind of what the management will do with staff members.

Vanguard

Actually, there has not been any improvement. The company has only paid weekly transport claims a few times, but salaries remain unpaid. The backlog is now six months.

Yes, there are forced leaves. There are no palliatives or hazard allowances.

All freelancers and several editorial staff have been told to stay home till further notice, while only a handful are reporting for duty as usual.

We hear there are plans to lay off but that really isn’t the worry. Many people are ready to leave if only they will get paid. The NUJ and NUPPRO have been engaging to no avail.

The Nation

Those earning N65,000 below got full payment, while those earning above N65,000 got half payment.

If you earn more than 100k, 50 per cent was paid.

The Punch

April was paid promptly but what we are not sure of is what will happen next based on the memo by the MD. There is apprehension as all staff await letters from the Admin offfice.

CoolWazobiaInfo

30 per cent salary slash.

This report was originally published in Media Career Development Network.

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