In a 427-to-36 vote yesterday afternoon, the union that covers the New York Times newsroom ratified the 5% pay cut that management asked for in March to mirror the pay cut they put in place for all non-union employees.
From: NEWSPAPER GUILD MAILING
Date: Mon, May 4, 2009 at 8:03 PM
Subject: Guild UNION TIMES: 5% Pay Cut OK'd
To: NEWSPAPER GUILD
(Embedded image moved to file: pic00041.jpg) Union Times
Published By The Newspaper Guild of New York
For The New York Times Unit
Times Guild Unit Office – Ext. 1030, 1751
Visit the New York Guild's Website at WWW.NYGUILD.ORG
May 4, 2009
5% PAY CUT OK'D
Members approve temporary pay cut
to avert immediate threat of job cuts
Guild members at both Times units, newspaper and digital, voted
overwhelmingly on Monday to ratify a 5 percent pay cut through the end of
the year, the centerpiece of a package Guild leaders negotiated in
response to a management proposal in late March.
Times Guild members at the newspaper voted 377 to 36 (with two
abstentions) to ratify the pay cut agreement, which includes 10 additional
paid days off, while members of the Guild's digital unit ratified the
agreement by a 50-0 vote. As a result, pay rates of more than 1300
newspaper and online employees will be reduced starting Tuesday, May 5.
Times management representatives had proposed the cut, identical to the
one imposed on nonunion employees on April 1, as a way of saving up to
$4.5 million without layoffs, which they said would have numbered around
80, including 70 in the Newsroom. But they refused during negotiations to
assure employees that there would be no involuntary job cuts for the
duration of the pay cuts, which expire on Dec. 31.
"Because our members know these are extraordinarily tough times for the
news business, they were willing to pitch in to help the company cut costs
without layoffs," said New York Guild President Bill O'Meara. "But if
management comes back in a few months and cuts jobs despite the
cooperation of our members, I think they will find that the reservoir of
goodwill will have run dry."
The Guild notified Times management of the ratification vote early Monday
evening immediately after the second of two New Yorkmembership meetings of
each unit at which votes were taken. A separate vote was taken in the
Washington Bureau. Other members who are based neither in New Yorknor
Washington, or who are on out-of-town assignment were asked to call in
"The turnout for voting was held down somewhat by bad weather and the fact
that the TimesCenterwas unavailable for our meetings this week," said
Guild leaders and bargaining committee members, who reached agreement with
Times management on April 27, did not take a position either for or
against acceptance of the package.
The agreement modifies the two existing collective bargaining agreements
covering newspaper and digital employees with highlights as follows:
n From May 5 through Dec. 31, 2009, all salaries will be reduced by
5 percent from their May 4 levels. Overtime and differential pay, which
are based on salaries, will be reduced likewise.
n If there are any job cuts, severance pay will be computed on the
basis of the unreduced salary of each employee.
n Company contributions to the Guild-Times Benefits Fund, which pays
the health insurance claims of newspaper and online members, will continue
to be made on the basis of the unreduced salaries of employees.
n Each employee will receive 10 paid days off, which The Times will
treat as vacation days that can be carried forward into 2010 if not taken
in 2009. Times management has said it will make every effort to schedule
the time off this year.
n A joint Guild-management committee will be created to explore
other cost-saving opportunities and the potential use of voluntary buyouts
instead of involuntary job reductions.
Besides O'Meara, members of the Guild Bargaining Committee were:
Art Mulford (Newspaper Unit Chair)
Erik Piepenburg (Digital Unit Chair)
Grant Glickson (Times Grievance Chair)
Anne Mancuso (Newsroom)
Nancy Bachrach (Advertising)
Stephen Labaton (Washington)
Mindy Matthews (Newsroom)
Peter Szekely (Guild Secretary-Treasurer)
Anthony Napoli (Guild Local Representative)