Bay City News Service Guild members unanimously ratified a new three-year contract last night that improves pay and other benefits, while avoiding any concessions.
Nearly the entire Bay City membership participated in the Monday night meeting and vote, conducted in a conference room a few floors below the newsroom at Fox Plaza in San Francisco.
The agreement calls for a 1.5 percent pay increase on employee anniversary dates this year, a 2 percent increase in 2014 and another 2 percent in 2015.
The company also agreed to sweeten its match on 401(k) contributions, add two more vacation days for veterans with 10 or more years’ experience, and strengthen the pay scale by raising the minimum pay for new hires.
The Guild contract also maintains company-paid health care benefits – a major plus at a time of escalating health care costs. Although other Guild employers are demanding givebacks to cover their benefit expenses, Bay City News owner Wayne Futak came to the table with no notion of tinkering with the health care arrangement for his Guild-covered employees.
“Wayne not conceding that health care thing is huge,” said Chris Nguon, who works the sports desk. “That’s pretty significant. Kudos to Wayne.”
The members voted 15-0 in a secret ballot to ratify the contract. The Media Workers local Executive Committee and The Newspaper Guild contracts committee in Washington, D.C., also have approved the deal.
The contract took effect April 1.
Representing the Guild: Jeff Shuttleworth (unit chair), Hannah Albarazi and Kat Anderson (Guild staff).
Representing the management: Wayne Futak and James Beard of Beard Affiliates.