Guild bargainers and PD management narrowed their differences on a new contract and reached new tentative agreements Thursday.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat photographer and longtime Guild member Kent Porter was announced as the paper’s Employee of the Year in a newsroom ceremony on January 7.
Management offered a contract with no guaranteed pay increases, instead asking the union to accept what non-union employees would get, and to tie any increases to performance reviews. It also sought to raise the employee share of health costs, take away a week of sick leave accrual and eliminate the no-layoff guarantee. The union’s proposals include wage increases, higher employer contributions to the 401K, continuation of no-layoff provisions and enhanced work-life benefits.
When a group of local investors bought the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, the unionized news staff invested, too.
Jeremy Hay, a staff writer at The Press Democrat and a Guild member, shares his struggle with a mental disorder, and notes the positive role of a union contract which provided support amid his challenges with severe mental illness.
On November 8, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat was bought by Sonoma Media Investments along with the Petaluma Argus-Courier and North Bay Business Journal.
Guild member Derek Moore and new Press Democrat CEO signed a three-year labor contract that guarantees no lay-offs for the life of the contract. The Press Democrat was purchased on November 8th by a group of local investors.
A North Bay investment group bought the Press Democrat after guaranteeing no layoffs for three years and promising to focus on high-quality community journalism.
Your Guild bargaining committee met today with Steve Falk, representative of Sonoma Media Investments, to discuss the outline of a possible new labor agreement at the Press Democrat after the investment group completes its purchase of the paper.
Guild members at The Press Democrat read today’s sale announcement with great interest and optimism.