The Guild made a comprehensive proposal to settle the entire contract Tuesday, starting with annual raises of 5 percent for four years.
Under the Guild’s plan, the pension would get a much-needed boost, with an increase in the contribution from 85 cents an hour to $1.05. The Company’s pension contribution has not increased since 1986. With the stock market struggling and a reduction in the Guild workforce, a raise is needed.
The Guild proposal would add a fifth year of vacation at 15 years of employment and a sixth week at 25 years.
The package would include agreeing to the proposed switch to an MVP plan. Since the move would save the Company money, the Guild said it made no sense to increase the employee contribution from the current 16 percent. The Guild also proposed that the Company pay the full deductible in the first year, giving employees time to set aside the $750 for future years. The Guild also called for the Company to set up a debit-card system, enabling you to use the card to pay your doctor.
For employees in advertising, the Guild proposed that there be one pay classification for sales people at Class D and that commissions be subject to the review and approval of the Guild’s Commission Committee. We’ve received numerous complaints about the frequent changing of goals, unrealistic sales expectations and constant addition of new products to sell.
The proposal came after the Guild had sent out a survey on Friday to its advertising sales workers, with a suggestion that a meeting be held to discuss these issues further.
“Making this proposal does not negate our ability to still have this discussion,” Guild President Tim O’Brien said. “We wanted to make a comprehensive proposal swiftly because we think any change to our health insurance should be part of a contract settlement. That meant giving the Company a full proposal today, but we certainly expect there to be more discussion about whether the current five different pay classifications for advertising sales employees is appropriate and what changes should be part of a final contract.”
The Guild also proposed increases in various differentials, many of which have not been raised in decades, and for a consistent policy for reimbursing employees for using their cell phones. There were also eight upgrades proposed.
You can see the complete proposal here.
The Company is upset at the Guild’s insistence that any agreement on health insurance be part of a total package.
“We’ve sat at the table since June staring at the same pile of givebacks, and the Company has not moved off a single one of them,” O’Brien said. “Give them the health insurance, and they would have no motive to move off a thing until next year’s health insurance costs were up for discussion. It is well past time that the Company put the same energy and effort into its proposals that the Guild has put into theirs. We are committed to reaching a total package that rewards our members for their hard work and dedication and for the ever-increasing workload they are expected to bear. The Company would be well-served to remove its proposed givebacks from the table and to start a discussion on what a reasonable contract offer would be. We believe our proposal today is an important step toward that goal.”