Company asks for Mediation; Guild agrees.
Dear Guild Members:
After four months of bargaining, the company remains immovable on the topic of eliminating more-senior employees in the newsrooms. It has also refused to offer more than $500,000 per year to help fix the Guild’s $2.5 million health-care problem and has rejected all of our proposed solutions, including diverting profit-sharing and furlough-week money toward the health-and-welfare expense.
While the company has consistently maintained that the future is a news enterprise that operates as one, it has flip-flopped on the issue of a single contract to make that happen – Inquirer/Daily News/Philly.com . One contract would significantly improve the working conditions and pay for members at Philly.com.
The reason the health-care issue is imperative is because it has become an unbearable expense. The company not only hasn’t increased its health-care contribution in this century, it actually decreased it in 2013 by more than $1.5 million per year. With its present $500,000 offer, the average cost could skyrocket $2,500 to $5,500 per member per year, depending on coverage.
The company has agreed to a 60-day contract extension while we await scheduling of sessions with the mediator, whose suggestions are not binding.
Howard Gensler, President
Bill Ross, Executive Director
Guild Bargaining Committee