Big Raises for New York Times Web Staff

Not all newspaper journalists are getting hammered by the simultaneous implosion of their industry and the economy: The embattled Times just raised Web staff salaries by an average 12 percent. Yay unions?

According to a Bloomberg report, the adjustments are meant to put Times Web staff on a more equal footing, pay-wise, with print staff. Why would a company with junk-rated debt, fresh off its first-ever major layoffs, pour more money into salaries? It's not like the job market is all that great. And the raises are retroactive to March. Wow.

The answer lies with the Newspaper Guild, which negotiated a three-year contract covering about 100 online staff.

"The Times wants to have a first-class Web site to go with

the first-class newspaper," O'Meara said. "It would be not good

to have a big disparity between the staff of the digital

operation with the staff of the newspaper."

The gray in the silver lining? Web people still have to work 40-hour weeks, compared with 35 hours for print staff.

Also, Web staff had to give up their bonuses. Ha, guess you won't be rolling in massive pageview bonuses any time soon, suckas!

(Disclosure: Um, neither will we.)