The NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia

First Negotiating Meeting

Newspaper Guild Local 10
Journal Register Co./Delaware County Daily Times

Representing the Guild:
Bill Ross, Executive Director, TNG-CWA 38010
Anthony SanFilippo, Unit Chairperson
Cindy Scharr, Unit Vice Chairperson
Rob Parent, Unit Secretary
Suzanne Cavanaugh

Representing JRC:
Frank Gothie, Publisher, Daily Times
Diane Kennedy, administrative assistant

The Guild opened the session by presenting a modest proposal calling for: 1. A 2-year contract; 2. A wage increase of $40 across the board for Year 1 and 3 percent across the board in Year 2; 3. An increase to The Company’s health care cost contributions to 65 percent; 4. For shift differential on weekends to go from just Sunday to Saturday and Sunday.

Mr. Gothie, on behalf of The Company, did not directly respond to the Guild proposals, instead prefacing The Company’s own proposal with remarks about the state of the newspaper business, JRC’s company-wide economic problems and a poor third-quarter financial performance of the Daily Times.

This is a byproduct of the state of the economy in general and more than significant slumps in advertising revenue, he said.

“We’re looking at Quarter 4 as do or die,” Gothie said. He then mentioned two price hikes in newsprint which, according to Mr. Gothie, will essentially raise the price of newsprint by 10 percent.

“WE’re proposing these things we propose because we have a severe problem on our hands,” Gothie said, “and we have to do something about it.”

He characterized JRC as being in “survival mode” with its economic status.

He then presented a “proposal” that essentially was a request to extend the current Guild contract for another year, but with open-ended stipulations that call for the possibility of salary cuts, health care premium increases to Guild members and furloughs that would amount to two weeks of lost pay for Guild members.

The Company has tied these addendums to its request in with identical cost-cutting measures that would affect management workers … though it didn’t specify who or how many would be involved.

In fact, all of the addendums weren’t detailed, and the Guild Bargaining Committee is considering the package to be a non-starter of a “proposal.”

A copy of The Company’s “proposal” is on the back of this report.

We are calling on The Company to come back with a more detailed and logically structured contract proposal rather than what they have presented to this point. We have scheduled another session for Oct. 29 at 10 a.m. Any and all Guild members are welcome to the meeting in the Daily Times Building conference room.

Thank You,
Guild Bargaining Committee