The NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia

Newspaper Guild reaches tentative two year agreement

January 31, 2013billrossInquirer

On January 31, 2013, the Newspaper Guild Bargaining Committee reached a tentative agreement for a new two-year contract to begin at ratification. Although this contract was bargained early to forestall possible threats to the future of the company, upon ratification, the company will be contractually obligated to print both papers as daily papers (7 days a week for the Inquirer, 6 days a week for the Daily News) for the duration of this two-year contract.
In addition, the company agreed that for the first year of the contract, there will be no layoffs of Guild members.   
There will be a pay cut of 2.5% for 2013 which will continue in 2014. There will not be an additional pay cut in 2014. If the company turns things around, Guild members will be eligible for profit-sharing in 2014 and going forward. (The 2.5% cut does not apply to commission sales reps.)
The $10 car allowance for the handful of Guild members who still get it, will be eliminated. Please put in your mileage.
The Guild’s parking grievance was dropped in return for a lower pay cut.
Beginning in six months to a year, the company will start an annual employee review program, in order to give feedback to employees on their job performance. It will be company-wide and will not be used as a mechanism to fire longtime employees. If a review session becomes disciplinary in any way, Guild members are entitled to have a shop steward or Guild officer or Bill Ross in the meeting with them. The Guild retains all rights to grieve and/or arbitrate any dismissals deemed in violation of the contract.
There will still be two furlough weeks (except at Commission sales reps will still have 6% of their commissions withheld in lieu of the furloughs.
The good stuff:
The company agreed to a one-time Economic Transition Fund to provide an enhanced voluntary separation program to Guild newsroom employees with thirty (30) or more years of service. Details about that program will be coming from the company tomorrow (2/1) or Monday (2/4).
Vacation, sick time and 401K match provisions do not change.
Seniority was not touched.
A ratification vote will likely occur next week. Details to come.
Thank you for your patience during these difficult times. The Guild is grateful for the widespread support we received from the community and organized labor.
The Newspaper Guild Bargaining Committee
Bill Ross
Howard Gensler
Diane Mastrull
Cindy Burton
Melanie Burney
Vernon Clark
Regina Medina
Madeleine O’Brien (advertising)
John Robinson (advertising)
Eric Churn (circulation)