The Guild has once again reached out to the Company with a new offer designed to settle our contract and give our members much-deserved raises.
It is the ninth time since 2010 that the Guild has made a new settlement offer.
The company, in return, hasn’t budged from its 2009 proposal that allows the company to lay off any employee and outsource any and all work in return for a one-time payment of $1,000. If accepted, the company proposal could result in some employees losing their jobs and having their pensions cut in as much as half.
The Guild proposal calls for 2 percent raises retroactive to August 1, 2011 and on August 1 in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
That means that by 2018, 11 years since our last raise, a person in Class C would be paid about $100 more per week or less than $10 per week per year. It is a perfectly reasonable proposal based on the number of years involved.
The cost to the Hearst Corp. would amount to $127,273 a year, a not unreasonable figure.
The union members would pay 24 percent of the cost of health care effective January 1, 2016, and 25 percent effective January 1, 2017.
On layoffs, the Company would first have to offer buyouts (the same as it has to do now). Once the buyouts were complete, the TU could then lay off employees out of seniority, with those let go given 3 weeks of pay for every year of service.
In our last proposal, the union had included an additional lump sum based on years of service. That proposal was dropped this time. We kept our language that if the company eliminates the added severance for out-of-seniority layoffs in a future negotiation, the layoff language would revert to being based on seniority.
The union added in language that the Company must accept a buyout offer from a person with less seniority in a job title rather than involuntary lay off a more senior employee. This way, the Company could not deny a buyout to an employee who wants one and then fire someone with more seniority.
The Guild proposal also calls for a reduction in the early retirement penalty from 5 percent a year to 2.5 percent. This way, an employee laid off out of seniority would take less of a hit to their retirement income should they need to begin collecting their pension before age 65.
The Guild proposal continues to say that the Company could outsource work but it would first have to negotiate with the union. This is no different from what the Company can do under posted conditions, and the law does not allow companies to impose an ability to outsource without negotiation.
“The Guild has been very consistent in being flexible and offering compromises over the years,” President Tim O’Brien said. “This is a fair and realistic offer, and it should be taken seriously. We will continue to mobilize more and more publicly if we must, but we would much rather reach a settlement.”