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Posts Tagged ‘Newspaper Guild of New York’

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.”

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New York Times and Union Reach Tentative Deal

After over a year of negotiations, The New York Times and the Newspaper Guild of New York finally have a deal in place. According to the Times, the parties have agreed “in concept” to a new five-year contract.

The new deal, according to the Guild, “preserves a defined benefit pension plan, protects the jointly trusteed medical plan, and includes increases in compensation.”

Nothing is final yet, as the deal is subject to changes by Guild members. Martin Scheinman, the mediator who joined the discussions in early October, has asked that no further details be shared, so we’ll have to wait on the nitty-gritty of the contract.

The talks between the Times and the union have been highly stressed at moments, so it’s good to hear that a new deal is almost done.

Newspaper Guild Sends Another Letter to Arthur Sulzberger

The latest move by the Newspaper Guild of New York to get the New York Times to budge on a new contract involved a new letter to Arthur Sulzberger. Signed by 248 Times staffers, the note urges him to meet the union’s demands, because the alternative is something neither side wants:

As it became clear that not even mediation was moving the company to realistic terms on compensation, we have taken the temperature of the newsroom. Some of our colleagues have moved beyond their bewilderment, past a sense of betrayal, to openly discussing the prospect of having to seek other work, perhaps even new careers. After building the world’s finest newsroom with people who would literally go to war for The Times, you cannot possibly regard these outcomes as desirable. We don’t.

The letter was delivered to Sulzberger only hours after Times union members handed out informational flyers in front of the Times building.

The entire letter to Sulzberger can be read here.

New York Times Staffers Make Plea for New Contract on Twitter

New York Times staffers have taken their fight for a new contract to Twitter. Here are some that are making their voices heard.


New York Times Union Members Continue Demonstrations

The struggle between the Newspaper Guild of New York and The New York Times to get a new contract hammered out continues. Unionized staffers at the paper have staged a walk-out, have taken a group photo of themselves to give new CEO Mark Thompson, and tomorrow they will take part in “informational hand-billing.”

According to a union memo obtained by Jim Romensko, the union asks staffers to make time between 4 pm and 5:30 pm to distribute information outside of the Times’ headquarters.

“With flyers and placards, we’ll be right outside our own building (and, handily enough, directly across the street from Proskauer Rose, the law firm that is representing the company in the current talks),” states the note. “The public relies on us to give them the story straight.”

The question is, will anyone bother to take a flyer? And if they do, will they just glance at it and then toss it in the trash can on the next corner? Many a flyer have met their death this way.

New York Times and Union Agree to Mediation

Right on the heels of a promise to send one “final offer” to New York Times union members, the company and the Newspaper Guild of New York have decided to bring things to a mediation.

According to the Guild, it suggested that the two parties bring in Martin Scheinman to be the mediator, and the Times agreed. The mediation agreement — at least for now — means that no “final offer” will be made by the Times.

The Guild sounded cautiously optimistic about the news:

Scheinman has been involved in recent mediations and arbitrations involving The Times, and his abilities are respected by both the Guild and the company. It is the belief of both sides that his involvement heightens the potential of reaching a fair and mutually acceptable agreement.

New York Times to Make ‘Final Offer’ to Union Members Tomorrow

The New York Times staffers’ walkout on Monday certainly got the attention of the company, but the response was certainly underwhelming to union members. According to the Newspaper Guild of New York, Times management walked out of negotiations yesterday after only 10 minutes and then cancelled today’s contract talks. The company added that a “final offer” was coming tomorrow.

“This means management will try to ratchet up the pressure by taking a step that, conceivably, could take us to the brink of impasse,” read a statement from the union. “For now, however, a so called ‘final offer’ is just another reckless step that is much in keeping with management’s sorry track record during this negotiation.”

During negotiations on Tuesday, the Guild asked why members were offered zero raises in 2011 and a one percent bump for the final months of this year. Bernard Plum, the lawyer representing the Times Company, allegedly responded, “This is a declining industry and a declining business,” and that it was common for management to ask staffers to make sacrifices, and “even more common to have zeros.”

The Guild’s mobilizing committee met last night and will be reaching out to members soon.

New York Times Union Members to Walk Out Over Contract

The long-lasting contract negotiations between The New York Times and the Newspaper Guild of New York is taking a new twist today: A planned walk out by union members.

According to a memo sent out by the Guild, Times staffers will stage a walk out at 3:35 pm, then hold a brief rally, where pro-union stickers will be distributed. Afterward staffers will return to their desks.

“It is long past time for the company and its negotiators to pay attention to what matters most of all to us,” reads the union memo, which was obtained by Jim Romenesko. “Together, we can make sure that happens. Join in, as beginning today, we will repeat our message until they hear it: Nothing less than fair wages and benefits.”

Newspaper Guild Calls New York Times Claims ‘Disingenuous’

The Newspaper Guild and The New York Times’ negotiations are boiling over. After the Guild said that talks had been “blown up” over the Times’ request for separate contracts for print and digital staffers, the Times responded by saying it would prefer a unified deal, if the union agrees to their terms. Poynter had the Times memo:

Let’s be clear. We want a unified contract – it is the only way forward that makes sense for our journalism and our business. But the fact is we cannot get there unless the Guild agrees.

And while Guild negotiators have intimated that they too want a unified contract, when we asked them yesterday to explicitly commit to negotiate a single contract that erases the increasingly irrelevant distinctions between our print and digital journalism, they refused.

The Guild has now responded to that, calling the Times’ claims “disingenuous” and “a diversionary tactic.” Below is the full statement from the Guild.

Read more

Newspaper Guild: New York Times ‘Blows Up Talks’

The contentious negotiations between The New York Times and the Newspaper Guild of New York have taken a turn for the worse. According to the Guild, the paper “inexplicably dropped a bomb on the process today by presenting two new comprehensive proposals aimed at negotiating two separate contracts: print and digital.”

The union says the Times is trying to split the negotiations so they can declare an “impasse,” which would impose a pension freeze and longer working hours for Times staffers.

“Given the progress that we’ve made and the very real prospect of resolving the pension issue, we could have settled these negotiations to the satisfaction of both sides by September,” Bill O’Meara, the Guild’s president, said in a statement. “Instead, what management has done will depress members’ flagging morale even further with the Summer Olympics, the heat of the election season and a presidential vote all looming.”

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