S M T W T F S
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Did You Know?

Session 8: To Mediation

Manchester Newspaper Guild bargainers presented another revised proposal to the company during Monday’s eighth bargaining session, which added language regarding part-time employees and seniority (attached, for those receiving this email, and available at manchesternewsguild.org for registered members. After a brief caucus, the company team returned to the table and rejected  the entire proposal out of hand, stating again that the Guild’s proposal “only moves the sides further apart” and neglecting to discuss a single part of the proposal.

After stating that the shared savings ran out last week, the company reiterated its threats to lay off six members and cut pay for everyone as of Nov. 1, and requested that a federal mediator be brought in.

The Guild took umbrage with the company’s insinuation that it is the Guild’s proposal keeping the sides apart, pointing out that the union already has modified its proposal twice, while the company “has not made one single change, not one  word, not one character” in eight bargaining sessions.

The union agreed to bring in the mediator.  Commissioner Gerard Gomez of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service has been asked by both sides to come to the next bargaining session next Monday.

Earlier, the Guild asked what non-union and management personnel have given up or seen restored in salary and benefits since 2008, the year Guild members took a 12.36 percent pay reduction and lost other benefits. Company spokesperson Sharon Ciechon said they’d experienced none. However, the Guild – at the suggestion of the company during last week’s bargaining – had investigated and discovered through the tax filings of the Nackey Loeb School that the two top officers of the school and newspaper only took an approximately 4 percent pay reduction from 2008 to 2009, and their base pay had been restored by approximately 2 percent from 2009 to 2010. In addition, they received approximately $21,000 each in non-taxable benefits, or about $400 per week, in addition to other compensation. Factoring in all reported compensation, the company’s top official made approximately $8,000 more in 2010 than in 2008.

When asked what those non-taxable benefits are and why they continue, Ciechon said, “We don’t have an answer for that.”

Regarding the company’s threats, the Guild reminds members it believes the company’s proposed immediate paycut -- allegedly necessary because the “shared savings” have run out –would  violate the contract. The Guild will fight any such attempt in the legal arena. The Guild also reminds members that while the company might cut pay come Nov. 1, the snapback provision in our current language would return those wages come Jan. 1 if an agreement is not reached by then. Other than those two threats, the ENTIRE contract remains in effect until a new agreement is reached, or a legal impasse is declared.

In one bright moment, it was confirmed that the company exceeded its advertising revenue goal for September by approximately $200,000. When asked, Ciechon said that news hadn’t reached her yet.

And in other news, the Guild’s accountant will be here to review the company’s financials on Tuesday, Oct. 18. Future bargaining sessions include Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 17-19

Your Local 31167 Bargaining Committee