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Star Tribune Begins Contract Negotiations

The newsroom at the Strib in Minneapolis began contract negotiations this week in preparation for their current contract expiring Jan 31, 2013.

The union presented its first proposal Wednesday, which includes a proposed 5% extra pay for night shifts, holidays separate from paid time off, a limit to the number of temps the company can use, and a few other requests. The proposal doesn’t ask for a raise, which is interesting since the guild notes that covered workers haven’t received a raise in 4.5 years.

Guild co-chair Janet Moore read this statement at the negotiating table Wednesday:

We don’t expect to live like kings, we simply want to earn a decent standard of living to support our families.

Four previous go-arounds in the past six years at tables such as this, and nearly 30 years in this profession, have taught me a few truths. Among them:

If you do not offer a competitive match on your 401k plan, you will not recruit the talent necessary to lift this organization above and beyond its brethren.

If you do not treat your employees with respect and dignity, both financially and culturally, a contagion will eat away at the underpinnings of your organization. Good people will continue to leave. Friends, you are at a critical stage.

If you do not engage in a progressive, positive, relationship with your employees in the Guild, all the best-laid plans for the future will likely founder.

You have the opportunity in the weeks to start anew and craft such a relationship — where we join together to challenge an uncertain, but potentially invigorating, future.

Negotiations continue Jan. 8.

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