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Did You Know?

Union Leader outlines ad commission proposal to Manchester Newspaper Guild

The afternoon meeting of Friday's third bargaining session between negotiators from the Manchester Newspaper Guild and The NH Union Leader focused on the company's commission proposals for inside and outside retail and classified representatives.

As we know, the company's proposal calls for a  17% base pay cut for classified reps ($142.32) and 25% ($235.99/week) for retail reps. However, and assuming the company's figures are correct, a newly proposed commission plan actually would have resulted in eight out of 10 ad representatives making significantly more money annually than they did in the past year (the smallest such increase under the proposal would have that rep hypothetically making about $4,000 more). However, two reps would have seen their income plunge under the plan, one by more than $10,000.

In short, the plan would work, as presented:

Outside and Inside Commissions

Goal is based on prior year history

  1% commission on all revenue up to 99.9% of goal

5% commission on all revenue up to 100%of goal (if 100% is reached, the rep earns 4% more)

20% on ALL revenue over 100% of goal

Besides the obvious problem of several members appearing to be severely harmed by the proposal, Guild negotiators voiced many other questions and concerns. As proposed, the plan could be revised, or eliminated at any time. At first glance, Guild negotiators would seek to have such a plan guaranteed. Other concerns center on the company's proposal to institute a "plan for accountability." Those issues generated some questioning and discussion, but no movement was made.

The local's officers and bargaining committee would like to discuss this proposal in detail with all ad representatives, to hear of concerns and any issues  and is scheduling a meeting to do so. Affected members should email the president with a convenient date and time for such a meeting.

At the company's insistence, what became a testy and cantankerous morning session was taken up entirely with a heated debate regarding top company officials' pay for the years 2009-2012. The Guild contended, and continues to maintain, that the publically available figures do  not reflect that top officials have shared equally in the economic pain and givebacks Guild members have sacrificed during those years.

A very special thanks to all those members who took the time to attend our informational pickets this afternoon. Besides a friendly visit from Manchester's finest, we also were noticed by our union brothers and sisters in the IBEW and CWA next door at Fairpoint, who offered their support both today and in the future.