The NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia


February 17, 2021billrossInquirer

Dear Guild Members:

Bill Ross and I just met with Lauren Kauffman from People & Culture and Tony Cuffie from Labor for a briefing on a performance management system that will roll out soon. 

This program — intended, as the Company says, to help provide a more meaningful structure to achieve merit raises, advancement opportunities and career-development help — will be explained to all of you at the Zoom town hall scheduled for this Friday at 9 a.m. It would be wise for you to make it a priority to tune in.

The town hall will also address more broadly the Company’s goals for 2021, including much-needed improvements on diversity, equity and inclusion.

What WILL NOT be addressed in any great detail: the Temple diversity audit on newsroom operations and the publisher’s Tuesday announcement on the Company’s plan for addressing pay inequity.

The Company is planning separate town halls for each of those topics in March.

On the pay study, the Company claims it has not yet received the names of the 70 employees identified as warranting an increase to close a pay gap.

The Company also says it currently does not know how many of those 70 are Guild members or managers.

Bill and I expressed our displeasure upon learning the Company does not intend to make the pay study public. They are citing “attorney/client privilege” as the reason. We have pushed them to reconsider that unacceptable stance in the name of what this Company has identified as a priority: transparency.

In the meantime, please send any questions/comments/concerns about the pay study to to help push for the access and insight we all deserve to have in understanding how decisions on inequity were reached and how such reprehensible practices will be avoided going forward.

Also, the Company has a consultant looking into the city wage tax issue many of you have asked about. A fact sheet will follow to all employees when the Company gets all the answers it is seeking.

Lastly, the Company now expects all layoffs stemming from the closure of SPP to take effect sometime between March 1 and 31. It still has not decided where some Guild members currently working there in the cashier and returns room will be relocated.

As always, all questions on this bulletin are welcome.

Again, plan on attending Friday morning’s town hall from 9 to 10 a.m.

In solidarity,