Friday, February 27, 2009

2/26 bargaining update

The latest bargaining update has been sent via email to our members, and this was a busy session. Several proposals were made by the Guild. We'll focus on the main areas in this recap:

Wages are obviously a huge concern for everyone. The Guild is currently asking for no immediate raise, just a stabilization of wages, with a 3% pay increase after a year. The company countered with an offer of 0% at ratification and 2% after a year, plus elimination of merit raises.

All employees who are at scale would receive the increase as long as there was not a wage freeze in place for non-bargaining unit employees. An increase for employees earning above the wage scales would be subject to approval by management.

Job security is another key issue for our members, and the bargaining team " strongly rejected a MediaNews proposal that would add language to the upcoming contract that specifically allows managers to do bargaining-unit work," according to the email.

While we have seen an increase in managers performing the writing and editing duties that should be done by union employees, we don’t condone the practice.

Vacation proposals continued after last sessions discussion. In response to the company's proposal to cut the accrual cap to one year, the Guild asked for two weeks above that limit.

The rest of the session focused on changes to the night differential, severance pay and medical benefits for laid-off workers, cell-phone reimbursement, and layoff notification for future layoffs.

The next session is on Monday, March 2 Tuesday, March 3. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Guild rep Vicki Di Paolo at 562.259.9430

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