The Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia

Contract Ratification Vote Thursday February 7, from 6-8 pm at the Hilton Garden Inn

Guild member,

A ratification vote has been scheduled for Thursday, February 7, from 6-8 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn, 11th & Arch Sts, Phila.

Please be sure to read the Tentative Agreement & Economic Transition Letter, included in this email, prior to attending Thursday’s meeting. Guild leadership will answer any member questions from the floor at the meeting so that members are completely informed prior to casting their ballots.

We encourage all members to attend Thursday’s meeting.

Email Voting

If you cannot attend you may vote by e-mail. Members who attend the meeting in person, will sign in upon entering and then vote by secret ballot, but those who vote by e-mail will be required to identify themselves by full name and explain their reason for not attending the meeting.

You may vote by e-mail in a note to Election Chair, Rita Dooling at rdooling@local-10.com. Those who vote by e-mail should write either “I vote to ratify the contract,” or “I vote to reject the contract,” somewhere in their e-mail so that there is no chance of confusion of their vote. You can begin voting by email at Noon on Feb 7, 2013.

If you have any questions in advance please contact Guild Executive Director Bill Ross by e-mail at BRoss@local-10.com or by calling 267-240-8540.

In solidarity,

Howard Gensler, President
The Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia/Communications Workers of America Local 38010

TENTATIVE AGREEMENT & ECONOMIC TRANSITION LETTER

BETWEEN
PHILADELPHIA MEDIA NETWORK NEWSPAPERS
(“Company” or “Publisher” or “Employer”)
AND
THE NEWSPAPER GUILD/CWA LOCAL 38010
(“Union”)

1. This Tentative Agreement shall be incorporated into and be a part of the collective bargaining agreement between the Company and the Union which was effective October 9, 2010 (“CBA”). All references to a “Section” shall be to a Section in the CBA. All references to “employees” shall be to bargaining unit employees.
2. In the event of any conflict between the provision(s) of the Tentative Agreement and any other provision(s) of the CBA, the provision(s) of the Tentative Agreement shall control and supersede the other provision(s) of the CBA.
3. The CBA shall be effective upon the date of ratification and expire two years from date of ratification.
4. As part of the Agreement, the Employer shall establish a one-time Economic Transition Fund to provide an enhanced voluntary separation program to a minimum of fifteen (15) newsroom employees with thirty (30) or more years of service.
5. As part of the Agreement, the Employer shall have the right to offer a reduced work week program (4 day work week). Employees will remain on a reduced work week schedule for the calendar years 2013 and 2014. Employee may return to full time status before the end of that period if a full time position for which he/she qualifies becomes available.
6. Replace Article 24.1 as follows:
The Employer will continue to contribute to the Newspaper Guild Health and Welfare Fund, established under an Agreement and Declaration of Trust, executed on May 17, 1968, at the following contribution rates:
$5.123 per hour for each eight (8) hour shift for all active Guild employees with Family, Employee and Spouse, or Employee and Child(ren) coverage. $1.70 per hour for each eight (8) hour shift for all Guild employees with Single coverage and opt-outs.
7. Replace Article 24.3 as follows:
The Employer will have no obligation to make such payments for any temporary hires.
8. Add Article 24 – Health & Welfare Fund to Article 29.5 as an Article that a temporary employee, for any reason, is not subject to.
9. All current Guild employees (Main Unit and Philly.com) shall have their weekly wage rates reduced by 2.5% upon the effective date of the first payroll period upon contract ratification. Commissioned sales employees shall be subject to a total 6% reduction in commissions capped at $163,000. For the avoidance of any misunderstanding Article 13 – Furloughs remains in force for the length of the contract.
10. Delete Article 15.2 – Auto Allowance in its entirety. Language pertaining to calculation of mileage rate increases will remain.
11. The Union agrees to withdraw its unfair labor practice charge, Arbitration Case No. 04-CA-085817 with the National Labor Relations Board as it relates to the Employer unilaterally increasing the parking fee for bargaining unit members claiming the increase unilaterally imposed constituted a material, substantial and significant increase in the long standing policy/practice at issue and it withdraws its charge that the Employer has interfered with, restrained, and coerced employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in Section 7 of the Act. The Union agrees that employee parking fees cannot be grieved nor constitute a change in working conditions that need to be bargained over.
12. During the first year of the contract there shall be no involuntary layoffs of employees represented by the Newspaper Guild/CWA Local 38010, and covered by the contracts between the Union and the Employer. This provision will not preclude the Company from bargaining the right to outsource.
13. The Employer will, in its sole discretion, develop, communicate and implement performance management systems applicable to all Guild members. The purpose of the performance management systems is to identify the skills and competencies required for the job performance of various positions covered by this Agreement. The Employer will, in its sole discretion, create performance standards of both a qualitative and quantitative nature and develop and implement a performance evaluation instrument. The instrument may provide for the delivery of performance improvement and/or corrective action at thirty day intervals not to exceed ninety days. Failure to comply with a performance improvement plan within the specified time may result in dismissal subject only to the good and reasonable cause standard. The Union agrees to allow performance evaluation documentation for disciplinary proceedings. The Employer will conduct periodic informational sessions with the Guild to report on the progress of the development and implementation of the performance management program. Prior to the implementation of the performance management program, the Employer will provide orientation on the performance evaluation process to Guild members and management training on conducting performance reviews. The performance management process will be managed by the Human Resources department. It is agreed by the parties that no further bargaining is required on the terms of this paragraph.
14. The Employer agrees to the creation of a profit sharing plan that will commence in the second year of the collective bargaining agreement. The plan will be designed by the Employer based on specific goals relating to EBITDA.
15. Inquirer Provision. During the period from the effective date of this Agreement until two (2) years from the date of ratification, the Company guarantees that it will not discontinue the print publication of the Inquirer and that it will continue to print the Inquirer on the days on which it is currently printed.
This guarantee shall not be effective unless and until both of the following occur:
1. All the Unions (except for the Guild) which represent Company employees reach agreement with the Company on new collective bargaining agreements (“CBA”); and
2. The Guild agrees to reopen its current CBA and reaches agreement with the Company on a new CBA.
16. Daily News Provision. During the period from the effective date of this Agreement until two (2) years from date of ratification, the Company guarantees that it will not discontinue the print publication of the “Daily News” and that it will continue to print the Daily News on the days of the week on which it is currently printed. This guarantee shall not apply to “Sportsweek”.
This guarantee shall not be effective unless and until both of the following occur:
1. All the Unions (except the Guild) which represent Company employees reach agreement with the Company on new collective bargaining agreements (“CBA”); and
2. The Guild agrees to reopen its current CBA and reaches agreement with the Company on a new CBA.
The Union’s bargaining committee shall unanimously recommend to the bargaining unit that this tentative agreement be ratified. This tentative agreement shall not be final and effective unless and until the Union notifies the Company in writing that it has been ratified by the bargaining unit.

FOR THE UNION: FOR THE COMPANY:

Newspaper Guild TNG 10/ Philadelphia Media Network Newspapers,
CWA Local 38010 LLC

____________________________ _______ _________________________ ________
William Ross, Executive Director Michael Lorenca, Chief Operating Officer
____________________________ _______ _________________________ ________
Howard Gensler, President Christine Bonanducci, Senior HR Director

January 31, 2013

Mr. William Ross
Executive Director
Newspaper Guild /CWA Local 38010
1329 Buttonwood Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123

Re: Tentative Agreement – Economic Transition Fund

Dear Bill,

As agreed to, a one-time Economic Transition Fund was established to provide an enhanced voluntary separation program to a minimum of fifteen (15) newsroom employees with thirty (30) or more years of service.

The parties both agree that should fewer than fifteen (15) employees with thirty (30) or more years of service elect to participant in the enhanced voluntary separation program, the Newspaper Guild will not be obligated to provide any additional economic concessions to satisfy the concessionary target. Further, the parties agree that should more than fifteen (15) employees elect to participate in the enhanced voluntary separation program, the Newspaper Guild is not entitled to a reduction in the agreed upon economic concessions.

AGREED BY THE UNION: AGREED BY THE COMPANY:

_________________________ ________ __________________________ ______
William Ross Date Christine Bonanducci Date

Executive Director Senior Human Resources Director