Contract talks begin at San Jose Mercury News

San Jose Mercury News unit
Bargaining Bulletin #1

Your bargaining committee met today with company representatives Marshall Anstandig and Andy Huntington.

We made an initial contract proposal that reflected the concerns members expressed in the survey and recent small-group meetings. We also shared with the company our own internal analysis of payroll data, which reveals the stark reality that since 2008 we have suffered a 14.25 percent loss in inflation-adjusted dollars. When we include our loss of a vacation week, it increases to 16.1 percent. Attached please find a statement read in talks today by columnist Mike Cassidy and the analysis put together by reporter Lisa Krieger.

At this stage, we’d like you to remember that we are at the earliest of stages in contract talks. Our current contract will expire June 30, 2013, but it will remain in effect while talks proceed. Our initial proposal focused on the economic gains employees hope to achieve in this next contract. To that end, we proposed a three-year contract with the following terms:

  • A 3 percent wage increase each year for the next three years
  • A fifth week of vacation after 15 years of service
  • A no lay-off guarantee for the duration of the contract
  • An employer 401K match
  • A restoration of employer-provided long-term disability insurance and a cap on employees’ share of medical premiums

The company did not bring an initial proposal to today’s session. Anstandig described continuing declines in print advertising revenue and in Sunday circulation. The company representatives also said that, while they sympathize with the economic hardships we all face given our decline in wages and benefits, increased compensation improvements currently are not part of the upcoming budget.

We welcome your feedback and input at anytime. The next contract talks are scheduled for July 10, 2013. At that time, we expect to continue the discussions we started today, including the topic of the generally lacking quality of company-provided equipment.

Below are our contact numbers:

Lisa Krieger

Karen de Sa

Nhat Meyer

Mike Cassidy

Mark Emmons

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Michael Applegate

Pacific Media Workers Executive Officer