The NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia

Norristown ratification meeting set, August 11, 5:15 pm

August 2, 2016billrossInquirer

‚ÄčTo: Guild Members at the Norristown Times Herald:


We have a tentative 3-year contract with DFM.  Read below to learn specifics and vote on Thursday, August 11, 2016.



If ratified, 3 percent pay increase would take effect at the Norristown Times Herald on July 31, 2016.


A NewsGuild committee representing more than 800 workers in 12 bargaining units nationwide, including the Delaware County Times, reached a historic tentative agreement with Digital First Media on July 27, 2016 on a three-year contract that
includes the first pay increase for Guild-represented DFM workers in several years.


If ratified before August 15, the 3 percent pay increase would take effect on July 31 – the same effective date for other bargaining units.  The three-year contract, which would have a common expiration date of July 31, 2019, for all 12
bargaining units, provides for wage re-openers in years two and three, and those re-openers will be negotiated jointly with DFM by representatives of all 12 bargaining units.


Each of the 12 bargaining units intends to schedule ratification votes before August 15.


The ratification vote for Guild members at the Norristown Times Herald will be at 5:15 PM on Thursday, August 11th in the Media Lab Conference Room at the Pottstown Mercury News Building.


If any bargaining unit rejects the tentative agreement, negotiations will resume in that location as if the joint talks had not occurred, but the rejection will not affect other bargaining units that ratify the settlement.  Each group that
ratifies the agreement will have the same contract expiration date and will participate in the joint structure for negotiating the wage re-openers; groups that reject the agreement will proceed with individual bargaining.


Here are the key terms of the agreement for workers at the Norristown Times Herald:


WAGES: Pay increase of 3 percent effective July 31, 2016; wage re-openers in years two and three.


HEALTH CARE: Modify Article 6 – Medical premium cost share shall change from 60-40 to 65-35 effective the first of the month following ratification for the first contract year.  Thereafter, the benefits and the Publisher’s share
of premium costs shall be no less than those offered to management and non-represented employees.


BUMPING RIGHTS/REDUCTION IN FORCE: Modify Article 7.2 (a) – Security as follows: “The employer shall give to the Guild written notice of its intention to effectuate such reduction at least thirty (30) days before the effective date
thereof.  The Employer shall make every reasonable effort to retain employees. These efforts shall include transferring employees with longer seniority to a group containing a position which the employee previously held”.


JURISDICTION/OUTSOURCING:  Article 1 – Coverage – New Section 8.


a).  Company shall have the right to subcontract or transfer work covered by this Agreement which is described as editorial or adverting page production, i.e. page design, layout, pagination, make-up and copy editing to any other operating
unit or company (owned by Company or its parent) or to an unrelated third party provided that the total loss of work as a result of this shall not be more than 6 FTE’s.


b).  Further provided that in the event the subcontracting or transfer decision directly results in the layoff of any employee covered by this Agreement, the Company shall provide the Guild notice of its decision.  The parties agree to
meet to negotiate over the effects of the decision to subcontract or transfer work but in no event, will the failure to reach an agreement over the effects in any way delay the implementation of the subcontracting or transfer of work.  


The company shall provide 30 days notice before any outsourcing.  


For any employee whose work is eliminated as a result of outsourcing as negotiated in this agreement only, the Employer shall offer him or her employment in any open positions for which they are qualified in the Company’s sole discretion,
and such determination shall not be arbitrary.  The employee may choose to accept the position or take severance pay as set forth herein.  This clause shall not apply if CBA already provides for outsourcing.


For properties that have not previously negotiated severance for the outsourcing of the work identified in its CBA, anyone who is laid off because of outsourcing as part of the joint agreement, the Company will enhance the CBA’s current
severance formula by a minimum of two additional weeks, and will negotiate a medical lump sum payment for employees on a Company medical plan at the time of an outsourcing event.


In the event that any outsourced work returns to the Company that outsourced it, the Guild will have representation rights regarding those employees who will perform such work.  Guild retains jurisdiction over any remaining work that is
not outsourced.


No editorial outsourcing shall occur on or before December 31, 2016.


To view our current contract online, and the contract provisions referenced above, please click on this link:


Please contact me at with any questions, and thank you so much for your support and participation in our national DFM campaign.


Bill Ross
Executive Director  TNG-CWA Local 38010

(215) 928-0118 office
(215) 928-9177 fax
(267) 240-8540 cell