The NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia


Dear Members:

Well, as we warned last week, what was disclosed to you as the amount of profit sharing you should expect to receive was not accurate.

Let’s get right to it: 

All full-time Guild employees who were hired as of Jan. 1, 2021, and worked at least 500 hours, will receive a profit-sharing check in the GROSS AMOUNT of $4,668.35. Part-time employees and those full-time employees who were not here for the full year in 2021 will get a pro-rata share. For those who were hired in 2021, you must have worked at least 13 weeks to qualify for some amount.


The plan now is for you to receive your profit-sharing cut on May 27. It will be separate from your weekly paycheck because certain deductions will not come out of this check, such as Guild dues, 401(k) contributions and health-care payments. 

So, why the difference of as much as $2,163 from the originally reported amount?

As we explained in last week’s bulletin, the Company has a right to withhold any profit sharing until the end of this current contract, which expires in March 2023, and apply proceeds to any overages in health-care costs.

The Company has estimated that just under $295,000 will be needed for what is known as incremental contributions to health care. 

It is simply impossible to know whether that is a sound calculation. It could be way low if we wind up having a really terrible rest of this health-care year, a year that has not started off too well. 

But if the Company’s calculation is far too high, it is possible Guild members will see more profit-sharing funds returned to them next year at about this time.

The Company has the right under the contract to hold even the amounts that you will be receiving next week until that time.

Bill Ross and I decided today in a meeting with the Company that we’d rather you get some money now given how financially difficult inflation has made things. If you’re due a refund next year based on the Company’s health expenses calculations, well, that’ll come. Let that be even more incentive to stick around!!!

Now for the pep talk:

Whether your profit-sharing check will enable you to take a trip to Tahiti or to  Tredyffrin, take pleasure in knowing that your incredible efforts in very trying times are of value.

And as we head into bargaining later this year, let this be the latest example of why every single detail in a contract matters, and why you don’t relinquish things you have accomplished even when they might seem at the time to have no relevance. During bargaining for the contract we are currently in, we talked about giving up profit sharing, thinking profits were impossible in this tough industry. We are so relieved we didn’t go through with that.

When we bargained the last contract, little did we know the Company would soon be selling the printing plant and reducing the staff by about 50%. Nor did we know that a virus at the time that was sending us home to work for what we thought would be a couple of weeks would turn into a workplace and lifestyle game changer that would also bring a $10 million forgivable loan to the Company.

Those two things are the reasons — and the only reasons — we were profitable last year.

A contract should try to anticipate and provide for as much as possible. 

So, again, we encourage you to send in your thoughts on what our next contract should include.

And for those Guild members who did not qualify for this profit sharing, keep up the faith that the current financial year turns out to be a positive one for this company. 

At the very least, please note why being part of a union and having a contract matters.

As always, if you have questions, concerns or general thoughts on this, please reply to this bulletin.

In solidarity,

Diane Mastrull, president

Bill Ross, executive director