Settlement awards $6,000 to Guild members

Back pay checks totaling nearly $6,000 went out this week to 12 Guild members in Classified Advertising.

The checks are part of a recent settlement between the Guild and The News that allows for the transfer of work within the Guild-represented department.

The agreement insures that Classified sales representatives will receive credit for an extra 600 lines of advertising each week if they reach the current threshold for earning incentives.

The new incentive structure will end in December of 2012.

“It’s a fair settlement,” said Beverly Gniewecki, a Classified sales representative and a member of the Guild bargaining team that negotiated the deal.

Months in the making, the agreement gives The News the ability to move work — help wanted ads that come through the switchboard — into the department’s Employment Division. Those calls used to be handled by representatives in the department’s Inside Division.

The company, during negotiations, argued that the move could increase revenue. The Guild agreed and, in return, demanded compensation for Guild members who would lose incentive pay.

“We wanted to cooperate with the company but protect the earning power of our members,” said Tammy Turnbull, the Guild’s local service representative.

Originally, the Guild wanted new work moved into the Inside Division but the company said “no” to that idea.
“That was a big disappointment,” Gniewecki said.

In the end, the two sides agreed to an incentive pay structure intended to compensate

members for the loss of work.
The new structure starts with 600 lines of advertising and declines by 100 lines every six

months until the end of 2012. Gniewecki said the company insisted on an end date.
The agreement was ratified by the membership last month.

The Guild negotiating team was made up of Turnbull, Gniewecki and three other Guild members from Classified: Jackie Kuma, Donna Grimaldi and Pat Toepfer.