The NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia

Protecting our work

Hi all,

As Guild members, much in the way of sacrifice has been asked of you as employees of a company seemingly in a persistent state of evolution. Most significant has been the economic sacrifice, which today translates to 3,795 days since an
across-the-board raise has been granted. That happened on Aug. 9, 2009. Not only have many of you gone without any upward pay adjustment (the company likes to point out that SOME people have received merit raises and bonuses since then), you have endured pay
cuts and unpaid furloughs during this decade of course correcting.

But now comes an attack to our core. In the midst of bargaining, when we have honored a pledge to keep everything under discussion private, newsroom managers have chosen now to violate the very essence of the contract — protection of our
work.

Just since Dec. 23, newsroom managers have written three stories. These were not emergencies, unforeseen news events, or extraordinary circumstances — conditions under which the Guild has in the past given leeway to managers to do Guild
work. These were simply three instances where managers wrote stories that should have been written by Guild members.

So today, we have filed a grievance — a costly, time-consuming step we have not had to regularly employ since Brian Tierney tried unsuccessfully to fire nearly a dozen of our advertising members.

This Guild has demonstrated again and again a willingness to work WITH the company to address its challenges. But we will not allow work that is ours to be done by others without a challenge — much like the Teamsters wouldn’t tolerate
the publisher driving one of its delivery trucks.

We deserve our unique skills to be respected.

And, hey, if managers are so eager to write stories, they’re welcome to join the Guild. We’re happy to have them.

In solidarity,

Diane and Bill