More on the Time Inc. Layoffs: The Union Does Our Reporting for Us

Time Inc.'s Guild local has done yeoman's work this week, compiling all sorts of information on the mag publisher's layoff plans to give a comprehensive picture of the cuts, at least among Guild-covered jobs. Here are the totals, from what we can decipher:

Time: Up to 13 jobs to be cut (correspondents, writers, editorial assistants).
Fortune: Up to nine jobs to be cut (senior writers, writers, are staff).
Sports Illustrated: Up to seven jobs to be cut.
Money: Four jobs to be cut (writers, editorial assistants, editorial operations coordinator).
• Picture Collection: Seven jobs to be cut.
FSB: One job to be cut (designer).
People: No cuts.
Life: "Any job announcement at Life will be made at a later time."

Which of course doesn't mean Lifers are safe. One imagines their job cuts will be announced along with the sure-to-be-forthcoming announcement that the flailing mag is being cut, too.

The full announcement, sent today to all Time Inc. staffers, is after the jump.

February 8, 2006

THE JOB ELIMINATIONS AT TIME INC., CONTINUED

As you know, on January 30, management announced to the Newspaper Guild that there would be job eliminations in Guild-covered positions here at Time Inc. There will be a two-week period to volunteer for packages (three weeks at the Picture Collection).

The Guild-Covered Eliminations The Guild contract, Article XXI, Section 6, states: "In the event the Publisher shall reduce the staff for any reason other than automation, the Publisher shall notify the Guild at least two weeks prior to the effective date of such reduction and shall furnish the Guild with the number of employees in each category so affected."

Our information about these eliminations comes from HR's announcement to the Guild and from announcements made by managing editors at their magazines. These announcements differ in some cases. And in some cases the categories and/or numbers affected are not completely clear.

The Guild will be meeting with company officials in an effort to clarify these contradictions. We will provide further information when it becomes available.

The Picture Collection
A devastating staff reduction was announced at the Picture Collection-long considered a jewel in Time Inc.'s crown-which had already been ravaged by a reduction a few years back. Seven of the 11 remaining Guild-covered positions at the Picture Collection will be eliminated. They will remain on their jobs through April.
1 photo lab technician (Group 8)
1 edit/traffic clerk (Group 5
3 catalogers (Group 8)
2 researchers (picture request assistants) (Group 8)

People
No job eliminations in Guild jurisdiction were announced at People.

FSB
1 designer (Group 12)

Time
Up to 5 correspondents (Group 12)
Up to 4 writers (writer-editors, Group 12) including writer-reporters (Group 11)
Up to 4 edit assistants (Group 7)

The ME's message to staff was slightly different; he said Time is looking for up to 10 volunteers across those three areas, and he broadened edit assistants to include receptionists, which is a Group 3 job.

Sports Illustrated
HR and the ME announced an open call for up to 7 volunteers from Guild or non-Guild titles, with no involuntaries if 7 do not come forward.

Later, HR said that if there are not enough SI volunteers, a more specific job elimination may follow.

Life
Any job elimination announcement at Life will be made at a later time.

Money
2 writers (writer-reporters, Group 11, or writer-editors, Group 12)
1 edit assistant (Group 7)
1 edit operations coordinator (Group 9)

Fortune
Initially, HR announced that one senior writer (a masthead title; the contract category is writer-editor, Group 12) would be eliminated.

Subsequently, the managing editor announced three areas where Fortune was seeking volunteers: writers, senior writers (both writer-editors, Group 12), and art staff. HR then told the Guild that Fortune was looking for three volunteers.

Art staff note: Designers are in Group 12. Associate art directors (and assistant art directors) are not managers and should be in Guild jurisdiction. Management and the Guild are discussing bringing art director titles into Guild jurisdiction; the Guild has asked for the courtesy of treating any art director elimination as if it were Guild covered.

However, in a meeting with staff the next day, the ME explained that he is looking for up to nine volunteers - almost as many as at Time:
? up to 3 in art staff (see preceding paragraph)
? up to 3 senior writers (writer-editors, Group 12)
? up to 3 writers (also writer-editors, Group 12)

Since job eliminations are supposed to be announced by numbers of eliminations in each contract-named job category - not by masthead title, which is often honorific - the Guild is unsure how this will work if not enough volunteers come forward.

Buyouts: Fortune also told staff that any employees who are interested in packages could approach HR to ask if a buyout package would be available for them. Acceptance is not guaranteed.

Cross-Divisional Volunteers
We include here information we also provided in On Time #4.

Cross-divisional volunteers: If you are outside of the affected area, you may volunteer for a buyout if there are not enough volunteers within the division, and if your departure will provide a job for someone whose job is being eliminated.

a. Job-for-package swap: If you volunteer, one of the affected employees must be willing and able to take your job, and your manager must be willing to accept that employee as your substitute. A manager cannot arbitrarily veto the swap, because management is obliged by the contract to "make every reasonable effort" to take all volunteers up to the number of jobs being cut.

b. Automatically eligible: If your job is in Group 1 to 9, you are automatically eligible to be a cross-divisional volunteer for one of the jobs in the same group as yours that is being eliminated. The jobs in Groups 1 to 9 include photo lab technicians, imaging coordinators, administrative assistants, copy editors, page coders, picture researchers, and others. (Note that the contract job titles are not always the same as the masthead titles.)

c. Case-by-case consideration: Management may extend this "cross-divisional volunteer" provision, on a case-by-case basis, to the jobs above Group 9, such as imaging specialist, reporter, negative reader, research librarian, staff correspondent, and designer. But management is not obliged to do so, and it can refuse requests from volunteers not guaranteed eligibility by the contract. [Management has agreed to extend the "cross-divisional volunteer" provision in this case.]

If you are interested in cross-divisional volunteering, notify the Guild before speaking with HR. You don't have to be certain ahead of time if your volunteering will save a job, and it would be best to volunteer sooner rather than later.