Guild proposes to move 11 exempts to union

As promised earlier in these negotiations, the Guild on Tuesday presented a comprehensive proposal on exempt titles. The union agreed to a number of title changes the Company sought, but it also eliminated all vacant management positions and proposed to move 11 exempt jobs into the union.

The union also asked questions about 13 other positions that are currently classified as exempt. After the discussion, the union agreed to place three of those titles — the customer care manager in circulation, the consumer marketing manager in circulation and the executive producer online — into exempt ranks.

The Company came to the table Tuesday with workflow charts for each department, which was helpful in focusing the discussion.

As the union noted back in July, the Company literally has one manager for every 2.5 workers. With our ranks thinned through buyouts and attrition, it made sense to revisit whether those positions are all properly classified. For example, the director of research oversaw two librarians who took a buyout and are not being replaced. With no staff reporting to that position, it did not appear that it should continue being classified as supervisory.

The union also noted that in marketing, there is literally a supervisor for every Guild-covered worker. Guild bargainers sought to add several of those positions to the Guild to correct the imbalance.

You can read the Guild’s proposal here. (This version removes the three titles we agreed after questioning could stay exempt.) The first sheet shows the titles we proposed to eliminate, those we proposed to move to the Guild, and those we still have questions about. The second and third pages reflect the way titles appear in the contract and include titles that have been changed.

Bargaining resumes at 2 p.m. Wednesday. Members are free to attend on their own time.

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