Parties agree on newsroom plan

The parties reached an agreement today on the newsroom reorganization plan dubbed Prometheus.

For more than 20 Guild members, it will mean a boost in pay. The Guild also preserved two longstanding union positions, the assistant photo editor and the deputy design editor, that the Company had sought to turn into exempt jobs.

There will be eight team leader positions that are exempt, a concession on the union’s part. The Guild had first sought to make the jobs union-covered, with those currently exempt able to remain so as long as they stayed in those positions.

“We still believe the newspaper is top-heavy with management, and that will continue to be a topic in our ongoing contract negotiations,” Guild President Tim O’Brien said. “By making all the Content Editor and Page Designer positions Class A, however, we will see a significant increase in people paid in the top tier rather than the virtual elimination the Company had first proposed.”

The Company had originally proposed those positions as Class B. The move from Class A to Class B will mean a $13.99 raise each week for about 20 workers. Page Designer Artists will move  up from Class C to Class B, a boost of more than $25 a week under the current contract.

The agreement also eliminates seven exempt titles from the contract, some of which are empty and others which will become team leader positions. Besides that title, there will be two other new exempt titles: Systems Editor and Senior Editor/News and Information Service Desk, which are being filled by current exempts.

Seven other exempt titles will be changed.

The agreement also stipulates that the changes will require new duties and skills, and the Company will take that into consideration in evaluating employee performance during the initial implementation.

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