Kampala — Some 176 jobs at Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) have been slashed and the remaining 349 tossed up for grabs as the long-awaited revamp of the public broadcaster starts.
Three new top positions, one of deputy managing director, director for finance and director for administration, have been created to redirect UBC operations to a self-sustaining business model.
A meeting of the ad hoc UBC revamp team yesterday, which went into the night, agreed on the structure which a source at the meeting said had already been aligned with the Public Service Commission.
The implementation of the restructuring is expected to start in the new Financial Year in July.
Mr Vincent Bagiire, the ICT ministry permanent secretary, who chaired last evening's meeting, said: "I can confirm the approvals, but the meeting is still ongoing. Three hundred fifty positions are proposed for all the business units; that is the radio and television stations."
He said the restructuring based on the best skills and qualifications will see the wage bill drop from Shs4.5b to Shs3.5b annually.
A leaked version of the revised salaries shows that the managing director will earn a gross monthly salary of Shs24m, a deputy Shs22m, director Television and Radio services Shs12.5m, graphics designer Shs1.5m, managers Shs6m, chief news editor Shs2.6m and a news reporter Shs1.5m.
The structure approved yesterday is a result of a UBC revamp team set up last September by ICT minister Frank Tumwebaze to streamline human resource and TV programming at the public broadcaster.
The establishment of the UBC revamp team follows findings by a 2016 committee chaired by Dr Peter Mwesige, the executive director of African Centre for Media Excellence, on the directions of Mr Tumwebaze.
The ad hoc committee's report, among other things, established that UBC was saddled with debt, operated in breach of laws and flouted best corporate governance practices.
It also found that UBC remunerated its staff poorly; defaulted on remitting their pension contributions; most employees lacked employment contracts; while some board members lacked required skills to provide effective oversight.
Under the new structure, there will be 135 employees across the 11 radio platforms, which include the five channels at the headquarters and six upcountry.
UBC TV alone has been provided 75 staff who will include the station manager, a manager news bureau, programmes controller, two chief news editors, seven news editors, 11 camera operators, seven reporters and nine presenters/anchors, among others.
The public broadcaster's sister station, Star Television, will have 22 staff.
The engineering department will have 25 staff, 22 employees for signet (the digital signal distribution section), administration 26, finance 6 and marketing 5.
Mr Bagiire said an assessment by the revamp team found that many UBC staff meet the qualifications to serve at the national broadcaster, but they were being under-utilised with majority performing single tasks instead of multiple roles.
"The essence of restructuring is to align available skills to where they are best suited and we want to meet the international standards. At the same time, we are training the team to perform more than one task as per the practice in the broadcasting sector," the Permanent Secretary said.
The revamp team in a draft report had recommended that all the positions across the platforms be advertised, but Mr Bagiire said yesterday's meeting, which included the UBC board and top management, resolved that current staff reapply for jobs through an internal process.
He said the new top slots for deputy managing director and the directors will be advertised externally and that the Public Service Commission will handle the process.
According to the restructuring report, employees due for mandatory retirement before June 30, 2018, will go while those seeking early retirement will be paid terminal benefits in line with applicable laws
On the other hand, staff past their retirement age will counselled to ease them out with less disruption during the transition.
"UBC through external consultant will provide counselling services, including pre-retirement training, for all the current UBC staff during the implementation exercise," the report reads in part.
This revamp team wants UBC to transform into a leader in marketing, sales and advertising.
New UBC jobs, salaries
Designation (per person) Pay(gross)
Managing Director Shs24.5m
Operations Officer Shs1.5m
Deputy Managing Director Shs22.5m
Monitoring & Project Devt Officer Shs1.5m
Manager Legal & Board Affairs Shs6m
Manager IA & Risk Management Shs5.2m
Manager Fin & Rev Management Shs6m
Senior procurement Officer Shs2.6m
Sales & Marketing Manager Shs6m
Human Resource Manager Shs6m
Senior Administration Officer Shs2.6m
Office Assistant Shs537,035
Director TV & Radio Services Shs12.5m
Manager TV Shs6m
Manager News Bureau Shs2.6m
Controller Programs Shs2.6m
Chief News Editor (Radio & TV ) Shs2.6m
Head Library & Archives Shs1.5m
Head of Sports Desk Shs1.5m
News Editor Shs1.5m
Graphics Designer Shs1.5m
Admin Officer Shs800,000
News Cast Director Shs800,000
Asst Librarian Shs800,000
Assistant Producer Shs800,000
Ass Graphics Editors Shs800,000
Camera Operator Shs800,000
Web content Controller Shs800,000
Video Editor Shs800,000
Make Up Artist Shs800,000
Presenters/ Anchors Shs1.5m
Manager Radio Shs6m
Director Technical Services Shs12.5m
Manager Engineering Shs6m
Studio & Production Engineer Shs2.6m
Transmission & Comn Engineer Shs2.6m
Maintenance & Projects Engineer Shs1.5m
OB Engineer Shs1.5m
Workshop Engineer Shs1.5m
Refrigerator Technician 800,000
Senior Systems Administrator Shs2.6m
IT Officer Shs1.5m
Manager Signet & Business Dev't Shs6m
Technical Manager Eng Shs2.6m
Content Microwave& Fibre Optic eng Shs1.5m
Network & Comn Engineer Shs1.5m
Power Installation Generation Engineer Shs1.5m
Software & IT Engineer Shs1.5m
Total Wage Bill Shs209.5m
Gratuity 25% Shs52.375m
NSSF 10% Shs20.950m