Thursday, February 16, 2012

Indy | Guild sees new pact with up to 4% raises, but calls deal the ‘definition of a compromise’

In an announcement less sugar-coated than you might expect, the Newspaper Guild chapter representing 125 Indianapolis Star workers said the tentative agreement reached today would award raises of 2% to 4%, with the highest going to some of the lowest-paid employees.

“But it was only a small step toward restoring the 10% pay cuts the Guild took two years ago,’’ negotiators said on the chapter’s website.

What’s more, the chapter failed to keep the Star from eliminating 6-8 jobs when page production is moved to the design and production hub in Louisville, Ky.

“Despite making it a focal point of the Guild’s ‘Save the Star’ campaign, the Guild’s team found that outsourcing the page design work was an area where the Star was unyielding,” they said. “We made a strong case -- in leafletting efforts, a street protest, a media campaign and at the bargaining table -- that this could damage the local news product. But it became clear that this was an edict from Gannett, the Star’s parent company, and that the quality of the product was a secondary consideration to saving money.”

The agreement is subject to ratification by the chapter’s full membership next month. All but 13 of the 125 workers covered are in the newsroom.

Despite calling it the "definition of a compromise," negotiators nonetheless said they'd gained some ground:

“Our industry is still in job and pay cutting mode. And newspaper unions around the country are still facing cuts such as the ones we took two years ago. That we could squeeze out even these modest raises was a testimony the efforts of our workers and our friends in the community and the breadth of our public campaign.”

Earlier: Star employees get $1K bonuses, including union leaders who won't keep them to protest criteria


  1. Worth mentioning, although I didn't see it in the Guild announcement:

    Its members don't have to take one-week unpaid furloughs, which amount to a 2% pay CUT this year for everyone else.

  2. The Guild: Still fighting the wrong battles.

  3. If only we had a union for every newsroom....


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