For 'best journalists in the world,' Times proposes huge givebacks
A week ago, Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger and Company CEO Janet Robinson declared “Our journalism is the cornerstone of our company” and they expressed appreciation for employees’ dedication and hard work. But that was then.
Yesterday, we learned how management really feels about the “best journalists in the world” and how the company plans to show its appreciation.
At the first session of contract talks between the Guild and New York Times management yesterday afternoon, company negotiators presented a proposal that would substantially cut compensation – pay and benefits – for all Guild members.
From what we have detected so far, management’s initial proposals would negatively affect virtually every provision of the contract. The proposals include:
Freezing wages for the life of the proposed two-year contract
Eliminating the Guild healthcare plan and moving all participants onto the non-Guild medical plan. This would mean an exorbitant increase in costs as well as a cut in benefits.
Freezing the pension plan, which means that current plan participants would not receive credit for future service.
Eliminating all shift differentials (night, lobster & start)
Eliminating daily overtime pay
Increasing the workweek, which amounts to a 14 percent pay cut
The right to assign employees to produce work for any property the Times owns or acquires
Eliminating employment security protections
Making it easier and cheaper to get rid of employees
Although contracts covering both newspaper and digital employees expire simultaneously on March 30, yesterday’s bargaining session was for the newspaper unit. Guild officers from the digital unit attended the session as observers. The Guild bargaining committees have begun analyzing this extensive proposal and will provide further details as soon as possible.
Members of the Guild Bargaining Committees are:
Bill O'Meara, New York Newspaper Guild President
Anthony Napoli, Guild Local Representative
Peter Szekely, New York Newspaper Guild Secretary-Treasurer
Irwin Bluestein, Counsel, Meyer Suozzi English & Klein
Grant Glickson, Unit Chair; Art/Pagination
Mindy Matthews, Grievance Chair; Copy Editor, National
Steve Berman, Photo Editor
Deborah Bratton, Advertising/Telesales
Dan Gold, Copy Editor, Culture
Karen Grzelewski, Art/Pagination
David Herszenhorn, Reporter, Washington bureau
Monica Johnson, Advertising
Brian Leary, Advertising
Donald G. McNeil Jr., Reporter, Science
John Napoli, COF
Erik Piepenburg, senior Web producer
Emily Rueb, Web producer