Your Guild bargaining committee reached or confirmed agreements with Oahu Publications Inc. this week on a grievance procedure, a fair standard for discipline, union shop, dues deduction, and leaves of absence.
The negotiations on Thursday and Friday in Honolulu – the fifth and sixth dates on which the parties have met to bargain since our contract was canceled on December 3 – marked a turning point, as discussions shifted toward economic issues. The Guild presented its first comprehensive economic proposal, calling for a three-year agreement with wage increases of 3 percent in each year, based on the pay scales in our canceled contract.
While the agreements on important language issues represent progress toward a new contract, several key issues remain unresolved, including whether seniority will be the standard for determining order of layoff, and whether employees’ service time under Stephens’ ownership will count toward benefit calculations, including vacation.
Late Thursday, management presented a proposal on all economic issues except wages. Its proposals covering medical insurance, vacations, holidays, and sick leave largely reflected the benefit changes that were implemented when OPI assumed ownership of the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.
During this week’s talks, the Guild and OPI also reached agreements on language governing maternity leave, payment while on jury duty, and management rights. In addition, new non-discrimination language makes clear that employees may discuss union matters on company time just as they discuss any other matters, so long as it doesn’t interfere with production or work duties.
Our negotiations will resume the week of May 25, when management will present its wage proposal by teleconference. After that, the next formal meeting between the Guild and OPI will occur in Hilo June 23-24.
Your Guild bargaining committee includes advertising salesperson Marie Burns, reporter Tom Callis, and TNG representative Darren Carroll.
OPI was represented by attorneys Ron Leong and Lani Narikiyo, along with Rebecca Stolar and Miki Sugikawa of human resources.
Please contact Tom or Marie if you have any questions about our negotiations.