Guild Tried to Get Times to Pay Fair Share
The Guild has been meeting in special negotiations with management for more than two years in an attempt to solve the Benefits Fund’s dilemma: rapidly escalating health care costs that far outstrip income provided by The Times.
The sad truth is that The Times contributes only 6.066 percent of payroll to the Benefits Fund. Despite Guild efforts to convince management to pay its fair share, that amount has stayed nearly flat in the contract since the middle 1980s, saving the company a lot of money. In addition, The Times pays nothing for coverage of retirees. According to the Guild’s consultants, most companies similar in size to The Times contribute about 12 to 15 percent of payroll for the kind of benefits we now enjoy.
While the Guild is still willing to negotiate, the talks with management have not solved the problem. When they began, company representatives said they understood, and would work cooperatively with the Guild to fix the problem. But the talks turned into an attempt to force the Guild to accept major concessions: they want you to work longer for less pay.
Management representatives are not interested in an agreement that would save the Benefits Fund. Instead, they want Guild members to be covered by the management-controlled health insurance plan, whose coverage is inferior and would remain so, even with the benefit cuts we are proposing for the Benefits Fund.