Irish Times Ltd seeks pay cuts as ad revenue falls


THE IRISH Times Ltd is seeking pay cuts from staff after management forecast a €20 million drop in advertising revenue in 2009.

In meetings with employees yesterday, the company proposed that the majority of staff will have their salaries reduced by 5 per cent, with senior staff taking a 10 per cent cut.

The managing director of the The Irish Times Ltd, Maeve Donovan, and the editor of The Irish Times, Geraldine Kennedy, will take a 20 per cent pay cut.

The deputy managing director and deputy editor will take a 15 per cent reduction.

The company has proposed a 5 per cent pay cut for staff earning between €40,000 and €100,000 a year and 10 per cent for those earning more than €100,000. There are no salary reductions for employees earning less than €40,000 a year.

The company has also proposed changes in the terms and conditions of employment, including a longer working week for all staff.

The company is seeking an early meeting with its trade unions under its partnership agreements.

Ms Donovan said the changes were a swift and decisive response to the dramatic fall-off in advertising revenue, which is affecting all media companies in Ireland.

“The decline in property and recruitment advertising has been particularly marked,” she said.

“By reducing our costs at this early stage, we are giving The Irish Timesthe best possible chance of coming through this recession in good shape.”

Ms Kennedy said: “We are determined that there will be no diminution in the quality of the newspaper despite the current financial pressures.”

The company announced a wage freeze and a voluntary parting scheme in November 2008.