Yesterday the New York Times cut all of its non-union salaries by 5%—but it had to meet with the union to ask its members to go along as well. They better!

The Guild representing Times employees met with management yesterday afternoon, and they've put out a typically cagey statement saying they'll consider it. Three notable points:

1. The paper says the ten vacation days that it's giving workers in exchange for the pay cuts will be paid vacation days, not unpaid furloughs. Same thing: ten unpaid days at your current salary, or ten paid days at a lower salary.

2. Even if all the union employees go along with these cuts, the NYT will only save a measly $4.5 million.

3. "The company would not guarantee that there will be no layoffs if the Guild were to agree to go along."

A sunny forecast! Unfortunately for gung-ho workers, the union is in an awfully weak position. Bill Keller says that if they don't go along with the pay cuts, it will mean another 60-80 newsroom layoffs this year. More importantly, everybody in the world knows the NYT needs to cut costs, and unless the head of the Guild is the single smartest human in the media, he has no idea how to bring the company back to profitability without pay cuts, so just start planning that alleged "vacation"!

We hear the mood at the NYT yesterday was "like a tomb." [Pic via]