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Did You Know?

The Problem for Part-Timers

The company’s proposal regarding part-time pay and working conditions is insidious, hiding some real nastiness under what might appear a shiny veneer. It’s not as it might appear. For a part-timer, the deal might look good at first glance, appearing to allow more hours, and thus more pay. But taken as a whole, an adding up all the parts, it really would do the exact opposite. It’s a horrible proposal for part-timers. Especially for night-siders. Even more so for night-side copy editors.

--The below example would vary depending on classification, since different classifications and work shifts offer different differential opportunities. But on the base salary, EVERY part-time classification would see a similar, REAL pay cut of 21 to 22 percent, NOT 10%, as advertised.

Consider:

--Everyone has been focused on the company’s proposed 10 percent pay cut. That would be bad enough. But that’s not all the bad. The proposed increase to a 40-hour week for full-timers would actually result in a bigger cut for part-timers, who wouldn’t be allowed to work 40 hours. Here’s how, using a copy editor who works 28 hours a week as an example, and allowing for a few cents’ variation here and there because of rounding and because we’re not accountants:

--The current rate for a copy editor is $24.80/hour (plus shared savings) which would “snap back” Jan. 1 to $27.86 (without shared savings).

--Thus, a full-time copy editor would make $975.19 for a 35-hour week after 1/1/12, the same as now when shared savings are factored in.

--A part-time copy editor would make $780.08 for a 28-hour week after 1/1/12.

Not counting differentials, under the company proposal:

--Cut by 10%, or $2.79/hour, the hourly rate would become $25.07, so the full-timer would make $877.67 for a 35-hour week.

--Cut by 10%, or $2.79/hour, the part-timer would make $702.07 for a 28-hour week.

So far, so good. But that’s NOT where it ends, and it’s NOT what will happen for part-timers. Let’s now account for the increase to a 40-hour week, which would reduce the hourly rate further.

--At 40 hours, the copy editor rate would be reduced to $21.94/hour. Though it’s actually a further percentage cut in their hourly rate, a full-timer wouldn’t see a further drop in their actual pay, because they work those 40 hours. They’d still get $877.67.

--Part-timers, though, work for the hourly rate. So a part-timer working 28 hours would actually be paid $614.37 for their 28 hours, NOT $702.07!

That’s not a 10 percent pay cut, that’s a 21.24 percent cut!! Only for part-timers! But wait, there’s less!

Though all copy editors would feel these cuts, they add to the part-timers’ pain.

Let’s consider, again, based on a 28-hour, part-time schedule:

 --The loss of pagination pay would mean the loss of $56.

--The loss of night-shift differential would mean the loss of $24, (or$26 for those working swing shift).

--The proposed pension contribution would be $10/week for full-timers, or $.25/hour for hourly (part-time) workers. At 28 hours, that’s another $7/week.

All told, these cuts would total an ADDITIONAL LOSS of $87/week for a part-time copy editor.

So, the $860.08/week a 28-hour part-time copy editor currently takes home, when you add in differentials, would become $607.37 when you remove those differentials, as the company wants, and remove the proposed pension contribution.

That’s not a 10 percent pay cut, that’s a 30 percent cut!! But wait, there’s even less!

 --Though the proposal would eliminate the cap on part-timers and part-time hours, which initially might seem like it would result in increased work opportunities for individual members, those increases also would increase the pool of part-timers, which actually could mean less work for each member, as the hours get divided up. Remember, as well, that the company insists part-timers have NO seniority (the Guild doesn’t agree), so they could hire -- or NOT hire -- whomever they want, based on a whim.

--Take note that the company’s proposal specifically would keep the 28-hour per part-time employee cap in place. Conveniently, this would keep part-timers under the 30-hour limit at which they could be considered full-time, and would need to be offered health benefits.

--Meanwhile, the company proposes to ELIMINATE pro-rated vision care for part-timers, the ONE health benefit that current part-timers are offered. NO HEALTH BENEFITS FOR YOU, part-timer!

Such a deal, huh?

Please attend Wednesday’s membership meeting, 4:30 p.m., at the New Hampshire Food Bank, corner of East Industrial Park Drive and Holt Avenue. Vote, and let your voice be heard. Be reminded that if you are scheduled to work, attendance at this meeting is considered an excused, paid absence.

Your Local 31167 Bargaining Committee