This unit represents editorial employees in the Bay Area News Group — East Bay, a chain of daily and weekly newspapers in Alameda and Contra Costa counties that includes the Oakland Tribune and Contra Costa Times.
Contact Unit Chair George Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
View our contract here.
Pacific Media Workers Guild Unit Bulletin
January 15, 2013
(January 18, 2013 UPDATE: There is an additional “glitch” in today’s paycheck: Guild members’ dues were inadvertently not deducted. A “catch up deduction will occur in February.)
Guild reps met with BANG management today to discuss the paycheck problems that cropped up on January 4th with the first payroll after Denver HQ converted to a new system (called WorkDay).
Guild reps Carl Hall and Kat Anderson, Guild BANG unit chair George Kelly and Guild member Danny Willis met with BANG management Jim Janiga, Andy Huntington, Shannon Hogan and Karen Austin.
Management said that conversion to WorkDay was done in a compressed amount of time to be completed by year’s end 2012. While local management had been forewarned that some problems would attend the roll-out, the magnitude of the problems caught Human Resources by surprise. Initially, management suspected trouble with direct deposits, but as BANG employees alerted Human Resources to paycheck discrepancies, it became clear that there were several coding glitches that affected pay, reimbursements and deductions.
Local management has been tracking feedback from employees and producing checks to make up for underpayment of wages and reimbursements – claiming that making people “whole” is its top priority.
The Guild team sought assurances that, indeed, everyone has been made whole, and to let us know if anyone needs to be reimbursed for bank charges and/or late fees. We asked that management reimburse employees for any expenses arising out of insufficient funds because of this paycheck problem. Management agreed to this and is also working on a “To whom it may concern” letter that employees can use in communicating with landlords or banks that the paycheck problem was the fault of the company and not the employee. Look for that letter soon. Management also promised an explanation of various 2013 changes, such as increased taxes, a move from 26 to 24 health care deductions during the year, and increases in medical and long-term disability costs….information that will be useful in helping you to understand all the things that are being taken out of your paychecks.
The Guild also pointed out that going forward, management should forewarn the Guild about changes like this so that we can help employees navigate any difficulties that may arise from structural changes like a payroll conversion.
Management expressed hope, but could not guarantee, that all glitches will be ironed out by the January 18 payroll. It intends to correct all errors – no matter when an employee spots a problem, but it is also conducting a careful audit – field by field – to make sure all pay and deductions are accurate and/or have been corrected since the 2013 inaugural payroll. Even so, we recommend that employees study their paychecks and contact either Shannon Hogan or Karen Austin if they have any questions at all.
A concern about deductions involves Guild dues. A regular dues deduction will be made in the January 18 payroll (for Guild members). However, a back dues payment will still be owed. We asked management to study the situation to determine how many members will be affected, and in what amounts. Anyone who may experience a hardship with a double dues deduction in February should let Guild staff know. We will either provide a bridge loan to you or work with management on a slower deduction pace for you. Please contact Kat Anderson at (415) 420-7503 or email@example.com if you have any questions.
A note about collective bargaining: talks with management will resume in February. In the meantime, Guild staff is reaching out to everyone to see how things are going and to hear your concerns/questions/thoughts about the next contract. Please take a few minutes to talk to the Guild rep. We appreciate your time. And, we appreciate you.