Movement on money

The Guild bargaining committee decided Wednesday to postpone a planned “byline blackout” originally set for Sunday and Monday after making some progress this week in contract negotiations with The News.

Company executives started talking about offering Guild employees a cash lump-sum bonus, but have said they will not agree to a percentage raise in pay. Previously, The News had been insisting on zero wage increases in a two-year contract.

The Guild has also been attempting to modify a clause in our contract that will shift insurance premium increases onto employees in the event the parties can’t negotiate an alternative agreement on health coverage in future negotiations following the expiration of the upcoming contract. The News has resisted making any change.

The Guild bargaining team will meet with the Guild Executive Committee on Friday to consider the remaining issues in bargaining and the latest turn of events. Previous meetings this month between the bargaining team and Guild Executive Committee have been helpful in guiding our strategy.

Negotiations are scheduled to resume on Monday.

In mobilization news, the Guild recently held an in-house job action in which we asked members to articulate why they personally deserve a share of the savings the union has helped the profitable Buffalo News achieve over the past few years.

Nearly 100 of you responded with handwritten notes to the publisher, offering thoughtful, detailed and heartfelt remarks about why we deserve some monetary appreciation for our hard work on behalf ofThe News.

All the notes were personally delivered to the publisher last week, and a series of them were also read aloud to management’s bargaining team this week.

Finally, please remember that this Friday and every Friday remains Black Friday throughout negotiations. We ask members to continue to wear black on Friday and to wear their Guild pins daily.