The NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia

Guild requests early bargaining with PMN

December 1, 2016billrossInquirer

Guild Executive Director, Bill Ross has sent the company a formal request to begin bargaining early in 2017.


Although this contract ends at the beginning of July, the Guild’s Health & Welfare Fund, which has been subsidizing the company’s insufficient healthcare contribution for years, will run out of money in May or June, depending on when certain
bills hit. Our Aetna policy rolls over June 1 and we are expecting a new quote from Aetna in March.


If our present plan is to undergo any changes, the Guild and the Company must give our insurer and our members 60 days notice.


So . . . We have until March to know how much money the Health & Welfare fund, co-managed by the Guild AND the Company, has to spend on our members’ healthcare. Without a substantial increase in the Company’s contribution, we will not be
able to afford our present insurance coverage and the coverage will stop before the new contract begins. This is not only unacceptable, but illegal.


As of now, we believe that the
Company contribution needs to increase by  about $2 million. (Without this money, families can expect their coverage to increase by $200 per week.)


The Guild has made it abundantly clear to the company for years that this day of reckoning was coming and we have also made it clear that we have no plans to ask our members to pay more for their healthcare coverage or take a poorer plan
with less insurance because the Company refuses to pay for the present coverage.


Since our last raise, the Guild has spent more than $10 million in Health & Welfare Fund surplus to make up for the Company paying a lower per person rate than it did in 2000. This spring the fund runs out of money. The ball is in their
court. They need to come to the table in January and they need to come with money for healthcare.


In solidarity,

Howard Gensler, President

Bill Ross, Executive Director

Diane Mastrull, PMN Unit Chairperson