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Posts Tagged ‘Bill O’Meara’

Time Inc. Staffers Reject Contract

time-inc-logo1The labor negotiations between Time Inc. and its staffers are not going well. More than 200 unionized Time Inc. employees have rejected Time Inc.’s “last, best and final” offer, according to the Newspaper Guild of New York.

In a rather bold statement, Bill O’Meara, president of the Guild, described some of Time Inc’s offer as “not only outrageous, but illegal.” The union claims that the contract would cut benefits and pay, as well as outsource 60 full-time jobs and 100 part-time jobs.

“Time Inc.’s proposal to hollow out its own company was voted down by its employees in a nearly unanimous vote because it is simply not acceptable,” said O’Meara. “Management wants the ability to send 160 editorial jobs overseas, which would be a massive blow to some of the nation’s most important and respected magazines. Many of Time Inc.’s proposals are not only outrageous, but illegal.”

Last month, Time Inc. stated that the union needed to recognize ”the new realities of the media industry, which has changed dramatically and continues to rapidly evolve.”

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Time Inc. Labor Negotiations Break Down [Updated]

time-inc-logo1The Newspaper Guild of New York, which represents about 600 200 Time Inc. staffers, has announced that labor negotiations with the publishing giant have broken down.

The main sticking point? Time Inc. wants to outsource more than 100 jobs. Bill O’Meara, the Guild’s president, issued a strong statement attacking Time Inc.’s plans.

“Time Inc.’s proposal to hollow out its own company is simply not acceptable,” said O’Meara. “Management wants the ability to send 160 editorial jobs overseas, which would be a massive blow to some of the nation’s most important and respected magazines. Many of Time Inc.’s proposals are not only outrageous, we believe they’re illegal. We are filing charges over these labor law violations to force management to return to the bargaining table and negotiate in good faith.”

According to the Guild, Time Inc. is claiming that negotiations have now reached a legal impasse, which the Guild disputes.

Update (6:30 pm):
Time Inc. has issued the following statement:

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Norm Pearlstine Dismisses Spreadsheet Furor [Updated]

Time__Inc_-logo-2ED06AA15C-seeklogo.com_Sometimes, Time-ing can be everything. New York contributing editor Gabriel Sherman has been working on a big feature article about Time Inc. that is due next week.

So… When Gawker fanned the flames of the Sponsored Content Apocalypse with its Monday report about a controversial Sports Illustrated spreadsheet, Sherman was in a perfect warm-phone position to get comment from a top executive. He spoke today with Time Inc. chief content officer Norm Pearlstine:

Pearlstine pushed back hard against the criticism of the document. He said the controversy has been drummed up by the [Newspaper] Guild as part of a tense contract negotiation.

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New Newsweek Owner Won’t Let Staffers Talk About Newsweek [Update]

IBT Media logo GApparently the first rule of IBT Media — the new owner of Newsweek — is you don’t talk about IBT Media. For that policy, the company has drawn the attention of The Newspaper Guild of New York. The Guild has formerly accused IBT Media of not allowing its journalists to discuss their working conditions or criticizing the company, which is a violation of the National Labor Relations Act.

“The law gives all employees the right to discuss their pay and other terms of employment with one another, even if it means being critical of their employers,” said the Guild’s president, Bill O’Meara, in a statement. “It’s especially disturbing that the owner of a news organization doesn’t seem to understand that.”

Yes, yes it is. The National Labor Relations Board will now investigate the Guild’s claims. If the NLRB considers the case worthwhile, it’ll file a complaint. If a settlement isn’t reached, there would be a hearing by an administrative law judge.

Update (8:09 pm):
IBT Media issued the following statement:

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New York Times Union Members Approve New Contract

After many months of often testy negotiations, The New York Times Newspaper Guild of New York members have agreed to a new contract. Some details of the new deal, per the Guild:

Within the next 30 days, Times Guild members will receive a 3 percent bonus, and starting March 31, 2013, they will receive the first of three 2 percent annual raises. Starting in 2014, they become eligible for an incentive bonus of up to 2 percent, based on the same plan that covers upper managers, and which would have yielded a payout of 1.1 percent, based on its recent average. The contract expires on March 30, 2016.

The union’s president, Bill O’Meara, credited the Times staffers’ efforts in establishing a new contract.

“The level of engagement and activism among members at the Times has been greater than anything I’ve seen in my 24 years at the Guild,” O’Meara said, in a statement. “Without it, we would never have been able to accomplish what we did.”

Newspaper Guild Sends Letter to Sulzberger Packed with 560 Signatures

On December 23, the Newspaper Guild of New York posted an open letter criticizing Arthur Sulzberger Jr. for freezing pensions  — while giving departed CEO Janet Robinson hers early — and for not budging in negotiations. That letter now has 560 signatures from New York Times staffers and others, along with scathing comments to Sulzberger.

“We are extremely grateful, excited and heartened by the overwhelming response to the letter,” said Bill O’Meara, the guild’s President, in a note sent around calling for any last minute signatures.

The letter was sent to Sulzberger last night. A sample of one of the quotes added to it:

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New York Times Union Letter at Over 270 Signatures

The open letter sent by the New York Times’ union to Arthur Sulzberger Jr., protesting the recent moves that he has made, now has over 270 signatures. The letter, which can be viewed here, is currently endorsed by 272 Times staffers, including Howard Beck, Jeremy Peters, Andy NewmanGinia Bellafante and many more.

Bill O’Meara, the president of the union, told The Huffington Post that it could have been worse. “There were people who wanted to storm Arthur Sulzberger’s office,” said O’Meara. “There were people who wanted to stage a walkout.”

O’Meara said that plans to issue the letter and the signatures to Sulzberger at the end of the week, and he will also be publishing some searing comments the staffers made, if given permission. We’re sure those will make for a juicy read.

Newspaper Guild of New York Not Pleased with Janet Robinson’s Fat Fee

The Newspaper Guild of New York isn’t too happy with the huge “consulting fee” departing New York Times CEO Janet Robinson is getting next year. Buried in yesterday’s abrupt announcement that Robinson was leaving the paper was the news that she was getting a $4.5 million payment in 2012. As you can imagine, this struck the Guild as a bit odd, all things considered.

The Guild’s President, Bill O’Meara, told Romenesko that Robinson’s payment was a surprise, and “they’re not happy about that when the company is still demanding major givebacks, including a freeze in the pension plan.”

“They’re offering basically no raises and lots of cutbacks,” continued O’Meara. “They want people to work a longer work week with no increase in compensation.”

Newsweek Extends Buyout Offers To Editorial Staffers

While no Newsweek employees have been dismissed, WWD reports that many members of the magazine’s editorial department had their wishes granted and were asked to take voluntary buyouts yesterday.  Around one third of Newsweek’s 90 staffers, many of whom are believed to be members of the online team, have received buyout offers complete with at least four months of severance pay and additional compensation based on the length of their term with the company.  Newspaper Guild of New York president Bill O’Meara was involved in recent negotiations with Newsweek owner Sidney Harman and commented on what the future holds for the company and it’s workers.

There are no plans for layoffs.  Nobody has a crystal ball.…We’re all obviously very much hoping that Tina Brown’s plan will have a lot of success in the future and ultimately that’s where the jobs will [come from].  If it’s not successful, I guess we’ll see how it goes.

Newspaper Union Preparing to Fight for New York Times Employees

The Newspaper Guild of New York, a union that represents over 1,000 employees at the New York Times, is digging in its heels at cuts that have been proposed by the paper’s management.

A few days ago the union was given a contract proposal that they felt was completely unfair, so it has committed $1 million to rally public support for its members. The proposals asked the employees to accept wage cuts, health care fee increases and more.

Bill O’Meara, the Guild’s President, said that if they agreed to the paper’s demands, it would become a shell of its former self.

“The Times management’s contract proposals, as they stand now, would ruin the paper. They undermine the spirit and unique commitment of the many people who produce the Times and they will accelerate the brain drain that has already resulted in the departure of many talented journalists for better opportunities. Management is leading us to a future where the Times will be more of a content farm than a place for great journalism.”

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