Bulletins

Guild, McClatchy reach tentative agreement

Guild negotiators and Sacramento Bee management reached an agreement on May 2nd  that will transition Modesto Bee copydesk personnel to the new Sacramento consolidated production center, govern labor and wages at the new center and extend the contract for existing Sacramento Bee newsroom and advertising employees covered by the guild.

The end agreement came with handshakes and smiles, but came after a long, tense day of bargaining at the Sacramento Double Tree hotel. Throughout the several months of bargaining, management talked about the need for flexibility during these tough economic times, while guild sought to protect existing rights, benefits and provide some level of certainty for employees. The end result is a series of agreements that reflects the guild’s effort to find the middle ground and, while containing many elements deemed unsavory to the guild, it’s a contract we can endorse for ratification given the context of the environment and the provisions ensuring jobs for every affected Modesto employee.modesto-bee

Representing the Bee were attorney Bob Ford, human resources director Linda Brooks, Bee VP of finance Gary Strong, features editor Rita Blomster, advertising manager Sheryl Judge, and Modesto Bee human resources vice president Cathy Allison. Representing the Guild were guild representative Sara Steffens, reporter Ed Fletcher and Bee copy editor Ed Fishbein.

Modesto transfer agreement:

  • All Modesto employees are guaranteed a job in the Sacramento Production Center at the new agreed upon wage scale (largely unchanged from existing Sacramento desk wages)
  • Those opting not to take the job are entitled to severance
  • Modesto employees who take positions in Sacramento will have a 60 day trial period to resign and receive their full severance
  • All Modesto employees (full-time, part-time, on-call) who take a position in Sacramento will receive one week of “transition bonus” equal to a week’s pay for every year of service with the company up to 13 weeks
  • Modesto people are guaranteed either current wage or the production center wage scale, whichever is greater.

For more details on the Modesto transfer agreement, click here.

Production Center Agreement:

  • 2-year agreement
  • Company has the right to trigger four weeks of furloughs over the next three years
  • Wage scale creates three lower tier positions with midpoint wages at $20 an hour
  • Company has right to turn four full-time employees into part-time employees (with benefits)
  • Company has right to employ up to seven long-term interns/student clerks
  • Company has strengthened/clarified vacation burndown rights
  • Employees working 22.5 hours a week entitled to sick leave
  • Language on outside activities/freelancing unchanged
  • Most other language mirrors newsroom/advertising agreement
  • Rehire list intact

Newsroom/advertising Agreement:

  • 3-year agreement
  • Online sales added to advertising evaluations, sales comprise 60 percent of score
  • Company has the right to trigger four weeks of furloughs over the next three years, ad sales exempt
  • Company has right to turn four full-time employees into part-time employees (with benefits)
  • Company has right to employ up to seven long-term interns/student clerks
  • Company has strengthened/clarified vacation burndown rights
  • Employees working 22.5 hours a week entitled to sick leave
  • Language on outside activities/freelancing unchanged
  • Rehire list intact

Once finalized versions of the agreements are prepared, they will be posted here and a ratification date will be set. We’ll also prepare documents that more clearly state the changes.

Thanks to everyone who helped during this process including the guild leadership team and members who offered feedback.

 

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Kat Anderson

Kat Anderson

Pacific Media Workers Guild Administrative Officer/Business Agent, founder of Bay News Rising mentorship program for college journalism students and editor of mediaworkers.org.

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