At an afternoon session Thursday, the talk focused on the union’s proposal setting guidelines for interns and on how many people forfeited vacation time under the “use it or lose it” clause.
Both parties agreed on the importance of giving young people a chance to experience what it’s like to work at a newspaper in the hopes they’d like to make a career here. (Hopefully, the interns didn’t read the bargaining bulletin on the Company initial’s proposal.) Guild bargainers said that interns should be paid and, given the reduction in staffing, the numbers should be limited.
Company officials said they get more requests for internships than they can fill because they require so much time to manage. So far this summer, there does not seem to be the large number of interns, especially in editorial, we have seen in past years.
The two sides also discussed the Guild’s proposal to eliminate the “use it or lose it” clause that requires people to take vacations within a year or lose the time. In 2007, 49 people lost a total of 1,286.75 hours. One employee lost 142.5 hours — a day shy of four weeks — while another lost 112.5. One photographer lost 97.5 hours and another forfeited 90 hours.
The Guild will talk to some of the individuals who have lost a considerable amount of time to see if they had trouble getting time off from their managers. The contract says if an employee cannot schedule any or all of his or her vacation time due to work schedule conflicts, that time can be carried over. It also says that if the Company decides not to grant an employee’s third, fourth or fifth week of vacation, the employee shall receive up to three weeks of additional pay.
Employees are entitled to at least two consecutive weeks of vacation between May 15 and September 30.
If you are denied vacation time, let the Guild know especially if the year is near its end and you fear you may “lose it.” If your boss refuses to give you time off, you’re entitled to carry it over or cash it out.