Press Democrat management continues to cite uncertainty in the news industry, rising health care costs and other factors as limits on what it can offer employees. Guild negotiators, also cognizant of these realities, sought reasonable pay increases in the 3 to 5 percent range and to limit increases in escalating health care costs for employees. But management balked at the offer.
Guild members and staff met for a third time with DFM management today to discuss the company’s proposal to merge the BANG and Mercury News contracts. We opted to suspend these talks and return to bargaining each contract separately. Once again, the Company had no pay proposal for workers who would be covered by the merged contract, and the Company also continued to propose that advertising employees would lose union protection.
Management is now proposing a 1 percent annual pay increase for employees who meet acceptable performance standards. Health care costs would remain the same for 2016, but by 2017, more of the financial burden would shift to employees and eventually there would be no cap on the employee share at all.
Quality journalism is one of the pillars of democracy. But the profit-driven ownership of Digital First Media, the second-largest chain of print and online news organizations in the United States, threatens to undermine our ability to fulfill our mission. Guild members at a dozen union publications throughout the DFM empire …
Nearly 1,000 employees at a dozen DFM papers have gone years without raises — in some cases, a decade — while many have had to live with actual cuts in earnings and benefits.
Guild negotiators from the BANG-East Bay and San Jose Mercury News met with Digital First Media management in a joint session to discuss the company’s proposed consolidation of the two bargaining units.
The two sides agreed to a substantial increase in cell phone stipends from $50 to $65 per month. In addition, new rules will allow parents returning to work to seek a part-time schedule for up to one year so long as the scheduling needs can be worked out with a supervisor.
Guild bargainers and PD management narrowed their differences on a new contract and reached new tentative agreements Thursday.
Guild and McClatchy negotiators emerged from day-long discussions Tuesday, Dec. 15 with a tentative agreement on a new 3-year contract that boosts advertising commissions, offers modest newsroom pays raises, preserves the newsroom morning shift bonus and ensures company car fleet for the life of the agreement. After two gentle bargaining sessions, the room was decidedly tenser Tuesday afternoon …
Guild negotiators have made it clear that employees expect to recover some of the ground they lost after they voluntarily agreed to significant concessions so that Sonoma Media Investments could complete its purchase of the paper in 2012.