The Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia Local 38010 / Bill Ross, Executive Director Wed, 22 Mar 2017 23:28:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 PMN contract voted down 186-79. Wed, 22 Mar 2017 23:28:09 +0000

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Following six live sessions and 28 hours of email voting, the Company’s “Final Proposal” contract offer was rejected. There were 186 NO votes and 79 YES votes.


113 members voted in person. 152 members voted by email. 71 percent of our members voted.


Thank you for your resounding participation. We will work diligently to achieve a deal that is acceptable to all of you.


Until then, our current contract is in effect.


In Solidarity,


Howard Gensler

Diane Mastrull

Bill Ross

Rita Dooling, Election Chair.

The polls open tomorrow at 2pm. Mon, 20 Mar 2017 21:10:40 +0000

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Howard Gensler, Diane Mastrull and Bill Ross will be hosting Q&A sessions at 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. tomorrow at the
Hotel Monaco at 433 Chestnut St. We will be in the Girard Room, straight back on the first floor of the hotel. We will field questions at each of the sessions and people are free to vote by secret ballot at the end of each session.


On Wednesday, we will be at the Cherry Hill office at 11 a.m. and at
SPP at 3 p.m. Again, we will take questions for about an hour (or as long as necessary) and people may vote by secret ballot at the end.


If you wish to vote by email, you may do so from 2 p.m. Tuesday until 6 p.m. Wednesday at  Write:



And your NAME


If this contract gets voted down, we are NOT on strike. We still have a contract through July 7 and we are still in our present Aetna healthcare plan through May 31. If the contract gets voted down and the Company refuses to move the Guild
into the Vicinity Fund (even though it remains the best, cheapest health care option for the money), the Company must let the Guild and its members know by April 1 what the new coverage plan will be. Company and Guild Health & Welfare Trustees will be meeting
Monday to discuss various options if the contract is voted down.


Please vote.



The Bargaining Committee and Executive Board of the Newspaper Guild Local 38010/CWA



Our stand on the company’s final contract offer. Mon, 20 Mar 2017 18:26:28 +0000

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After numerous questions from members about where the Guild bargaining committee stands with regard to the latest contract offer from the Company, we felt the need to clarify our position before this week’s meetings and vote.

What we will be voting on this week is the Company’s proposal. It is not an agreement signed off on by the Guild bargaining committee. There were no handshakes this time around. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time the Guild has ever put
up a contract for a vote that the bargaining committee had not agreed to. We would not even have brought it for a vote if the Company had not labeled it a “Final Proposal.”

Told more than once that the Guild bargaining committee would endorse the contract only if the Company removed the language gutting seniority, the Company refused.

While there are good parts to the Company’s “Final Proposal,” most importantly the health care piece which moves us into the Vicinity Fund and keeps member contributions relatively stable, we are disappointed and angry that the Company felt a need to exact
a price for what it should see as a responsibility. Agreeing to properly fund employee health care only if Guild members are willing to give up the core principle of seniority is not the way to show appreciation for an award-winning workforce which has spent
more than a decade enduring layoffs, pay cuts, years of poorly implemented new technology, and a previous owner’s destruction of a once-great pension fund making it difficult for more senior employees to retire.

Seniority has served Guild members and this Company very well for over 60 years. It is objective and it survives different managers, different editors, different human resources directors and different ownership groups. We would hate to see it die when we
count the votes Wednesday night.

The Guild executive board therefore can’t endorse the Company’s “Final” contract offer and we are willing to get back to the bargaining table to negotiate a contract which is fair to our members and respects our principles. 

In Solidarity,

The Bargaining Committee:

Howard Gensler

Diane Mastrull

Bill Ross

With the unanimous support of the Executive Board:

Melanie Burney

Maggie O’Brien

Eric Churn

John Robinson

Pam Jackson

Donna Stokes

Jonathan Tannenwald





DFM wage reopener negotiations. Fri, 10 Mar 2017 23:55:22 +0000

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Thirteen Guild-CWA bargaining units representing newsroom, advertising, circulation, and production departments at Digital First Media opened joint negotiations for a wage increase Thursday in Denver.


Union negotiators proposed a $1 per hour raise for all employees effective July 1. Management offered no proposal, stating that budgeting is under way for the next fiscal year that begins July 1, and that managers won’t be prepared to begin
serious negotiations until June.


The union-represented workers of DFM reached agreement last July on three-year contracts, including a 3 percent wage increase that took effect on August 1, 2016, for most bargaining units.


The new contracts called for joint, annual wage reopeners in early 2017 and 2018. Unions requested that the negotiations begin early each year, before the company normally would begin its budget discussions.


Thursday’s session lasted approximately an hour as union representatives pushed for a new commitment from the company to shift its focus away from cutting costs toward investment in quality journalism and customer service.


In the past year alone, DFM management has cut Guild-covered staffs collectively by roughly 30 percent, from 950 to 675 employees, which has propped up profits at the expense of slashing newsrooms and outsourcing key business and delivery


DFM is owned by Alden Global Capital, a secretive New York-based hedge fund. Alden has drawn widespread criticism for putting profits ahead of quality, slashing jobs and selling off real estate.


Guild representatives pressed the company to embrace a business strategy that treated its employees as allies in the work we all do.


No new bargaining date has been scheduled, but there will be ongoing discussions between the unions and management.


The unions were represented by Patricia Doxsey of the Kingston Guild; Stevie Blanchard and Mary Ellen Zander of the Detroit Guild; Carl Hall, Kat Anderson and Claudia Melendez of the Pacific Media Workers Guild; Tony Mulligan, Enida Shuku,
Kieran Nicholson, Paulette Shrefler and Emilie Rusch of the Denver Guild; Ray Benoit of the Denver Mailers; Candace Lund and Kelly Blaiser of the Minnesota Guild; Bill Ross and Chris Bonanducci of the Philadelphia Guild; Richard Rosenblatt, counsel for CWA
District 7; and Kathy Munroe and Darren Carroll of TNG staff.


Marshall Anstandig, general counsel for DFM, and Judy Patterson of the Denver Post represented management.


Guild Associate members, Young Constituents of Philadelphia, daily White House access. Sat, 04 Mar 2017 22:53:43 +0000

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Philadelphia Limousine and Uber Drivers join Guild, demanding to be heard. Sat, 04 Mar 2017 22:45:50 +0000

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Welcome Philadelphia Uber drivers to the Guild. Fri, 03 Mar 2017 18:31:02 +0000

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Jane Von Bergen Inquirer Staff

On the same day that Uber Technologies refunded millions of dollars to Philadelphia Uber limousine drivers for overcharges, the company told them that it would raise the amount it charged Uber drivers in commissions.  

“I think it’s wrong,” said UberBlack driver, Ali Razak, 31, of South Philadelphia, who has been driving a limousine for four years and got a $3,996 refund. “I want to be happy today, but I’m going to fight tomorrow.”

News about the refunds and commission increase came as the drivers planned to announce Friday afternoon that they would be affiliating with a union. Razak is a leader of the Philadelphia Limousine Association of Uber and Limousine Drivers — the group that will be joining the Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia Local-10 of the Communications Workers of America.

“The biggest problem is communication. We need someone who can bring them to the table,” Razak said.

“We thank the driver community for bringing this issue to our attention, and we apologize for this error,” local Uber representative Craig Ewer wrote in an email. “Uber is committed to working with our partners and continually finding ways to improve the driver experience.”

Ewer said the company would have no comment on local drivers affiliating with a union stating, “Drivers are independent contractors.” 

The Newspaper Guild represents journalists at the Philadelphia Media Network, which publishes the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News, and It also represents freelance writers. CWA represents Verizon employees and many state workers in New Jersey.

Affiliating with the union will give the drivers access to some limited medical benefits, legal assistance, and a vehicle for negotiation, said Bill Ross, the Newspaper Guild’s executive director.

“It’s always important that workers who feel they are being mistreated have a voice,” Ross said, who described the refund news as a coincidence but, “It’s a start.”

Razak said he estimates that Uber will pay about $4.3 million to local UberBlack drivers, based on about 900 vehicles piloted by 1,300 drivers. The company said it mistakenly deducted a 25 percent commission per ride instead of a 20 percent fee.     

“Due to an error in our system, an updated service fee addendum was never released to you in the driver app as it should have been,” an email from the company read. “Because of this error we are refunding you 5% plus interest for all UberBlack trips completed from August 26th, 2015 until March 2nd, 2017.  

“You will also receive a new addendum in the driver app stating that the correct service fee for UberBlack is 25%, which you will be charged going forward,” the email said.  

The news comes as Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick copes with negative fallout from a YouTube dash cam video of him arguing over the fare structure with an UberBlack driver. “Some people don’t like to take responsibility … They blame everything in their life on somebody else. Good luck!,” Kalanick told the driver.

Since then, Kalanick issued a statement apologizing to the driver, saying he was ashamed of his behavior, and “must fundamentally change as a leader and grow up.”   

The union cannot help the drivers negotiate a collective-bargaining agreement, because only employees have the right to collectively bargain with employers. Whether the drivers are Uber employees or independent contractors is an issue in litigation nationwide, including a Philadelphia case.

“Our case is on track to be the first one to address the issue,” said the drivers’ attorney, Jeremy Abay, of Sacks, Weston, Diamond LLC.

]]> Welcome as Guild Associate Members Wed, 22 Feb 2017 21:43:31 +0000

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]]>  America’s Leading Millennial News Network. Fueled by Students.

BARGAINING HAS BEGUN Thu, 12 Jan 2017 22:39:19 +0000

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Guild leadership met with the Company this afternoon in a cordial first bargaining session that was more about establishing a framework for future talks than discussing actual detailed proposals.

The Guild did present the Company with some specific objectives, including a request for a wage increase.

Both sides expressed a desire for a swift and respectful process to get to a new contract that positions Philadelphia Media Network to carry out its business objectives while compensating employees well.

To get there, however, involves solving a major issue  — funding our health care.

We have agreed to begin meeting every Monday, at a minimum, to work toward a mutually acceptable contract.

We will keep you informed every step of the way.

In solidarity,   

Howard Gensler

Diane Mastrull

Bill Ross


PA Cluster Realignment Thu, 05 Jan 2017 00:09:49 +0000

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Guild members,


I received the following email from Ed Condra this afternoon. There are no numbers attached, and they are currently looking for volunteers. We have not received any notice at this time of pending layoffs. I will keep you posted as we receive
information from the employer. Lousy way to start the new year, as negotiations will begin end of February on a wage reopener. 


In Unity,


Bill Ross

Executive Director 

TNG-CWA Local 38010

Office 215 928-0118

Cell     267 240-8540



——– Original message ——–

From: Edward Condra <>

Date: 1/4/17 4:48 PM (GMT-05:00)

To: Bill Ross <>

Subject: Fwd: PA Cluster Realignment


Here is a copy of the notice that went out.



———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Edward Condra <>
Date: Wed, Jan 4, 2017 at 4:47 PM
Subject: PA Cluster Realignment
To: All PA Employees <>

To all PA Cluster Employees:

As part of our ongoing realignment efforts, we are offering a Voluntary Buyout Program. The deadline to apply for the program for those who may be interested is noon on Tuesday, January 10. 

Literature containing details on the plan will be available by emailing Dan German in H.R. at 

If you have additional questions please contact Dan directly at (215-867-2016).

Thank you