Bay Area News tells Merc committee there is no money
San Jose Mercury News unit
Bargaining Bulletin #2
The bargaining committee met for a second time Wednesday with company representatives Marshall Anstandig and Andy Huntington.
Last month the committee presented an initial proposal for a new contract; our current contract expired June 30, but remains in effect while talks continue. Our proposal seeks a 3 percent wage increase in each of the next three years, a fifth week of vacation after 15 years of service, and resumption of an employee 401k match, as well as other improvements that would begin to restore wages and benefits we have lost in recent contracts.
To date, the company has not presented an initial proposal of its own. But at today’s session the company offered a formal rejection of the economic improvements we have proposed, citing the continued decline in advertising revenue.
Company representatives did note that the company was in a better position to provide employees with basic supplies needed for our stepped-up digital coverage, however, stating that new laptops and camera equipment are in the budget for the coming fiscal year. To date, details on the roll-out of the new equipment have not been finalized.
We concluded the session by stating that we were not persuaded by their arguments as to why there is no money in the budget for additional investment in the hard-working employees of our bargaining unit.
We meet with the company again on July 30, and will keep you informed. In the coming weeks and months it will be important for the bargaining committee to gauge members’ thoughts on possible future steps as the talks continue. So please stay tuned.
Finally, we had a separate discussion on Wednesday about the MediaNews Group proposal described in a recent memo to staff as a “profit-sharing program” that might award up to a week’s pay to employees if certain, unspecified financial targets by the company are met or exceeded over the next fiscal year. Those talks are ongoing.
Your bargaining committee members are:
Karen de Sa –firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Emmons –email@example.com
Nhat Meyer –firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Cassidy –email@example.com