San Francisco Chronicle Bulletin #2

Health care funding discussed in second round of Chronicle negotiations

Negotiations on a new Guild contract at The Chronicle continued Tuesday with a discussion of health care issues for more than an hour in The Guild conference room. Executive Officer Carl Hall re-established Guild concerns with new legal representation present for Hearst.

Efforts are under way to bridge what had been projected to be a $1.5 million gap in the funding of the health care plan for the coming fiscal year. Health Net’s projected increase recently came in well below the expected hike, but The Guild awaits figures from Kaiser in July.

In response to a considered option of receiving health care coverage similar to the current Guild plan, but through management’s insurer, Hearst general counsel Carolene Eaddy stated that such a plan could not be replicated by the Hearst provider.

Some combination of employer contribution, employee contribution and/or changes in coverage conditions must be negotiated to fund the plan. A Guild consultant has calculated numerous scenarios that take into consideration the aforementioned changes.

Negotiations are scheduled to resume in the last half of July. In the interim, negotiating principals will further share and discuss information in an effort to solve the health care issue.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the Pacific Media Workers Guild was represented by Carl Hall (executive officer), Autumn Grace (advertising), Jon Ferguson (editorial) and Matthai Kuruvila (editorial). Chronicle management was represented by Carl Guida and Carolene Eaddy (counsel with Hearst Office of General Counsel), Suzy Cain (Chronicle CFO and HR director) and Cathy Rommelfanger (Chronicle human resources representative).

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Pacific Media Workers Guild

We are the Pacific Media Workers Guild, Local 39521 of The Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America. We represent more than 1,200 journalists and other media workers, interpreters, translators, union staffs and freelancers.

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