Guild bargaining update: Wages remains key among unresolved issues

December 22, 2014 — No pay raise, no way. That continues to be management’s position on granting a pay raise as we head into 2015, despite Guild members going nearly five years without one.

The News’ most recent response to Guild bargaining proposals — which include a 3 percent raise for each year in a two-year contract — was to address other outstanding issues while once again rejecting our need for a raise.

There were some advances at our last meeting with the company on Dec. 15. For instance, The News agreed to provide one float to employees who work more than 1,250 hours in a calendar year, in connection with a proposal to expand the number of hours part-timers can work before they obtain benefits.

And both sides continued to discuss retaining the Classified Department through the creation of a labor-management committee that will bargain changes in the department. The News initially wanted to outsource members’ work if ways were not found to reduce the cost of running the department and the revenue it generates. Negotiations also continued over creation of a new newsroom position, News Aides, on a trial basis; a phone allowance in the newsroom; and management’s interest in possibly moving to self-funded health insurance in the future.

The News continues to object to a pay increase or bonus, something members have consistently said is important to them. We deserve a raise, and will continue to push for it as the new year gets underway, with the message that Five Years Is Too Long.

The holidays will bring a break in contract negotiations, with bargaining starting up again some time in January. No firm date has been scheduled yet.