Friday, April 4, 2008

04/03 bargaining update

The latest round of contract negotiations showed several promising developments.

The official statement:

MediaNews human resources vice president Jim Janiga on April 3 signaled he would consider a possible wage offer for the first year of a three-year contract.

The move comes on the heels escalating efforts by members of Southern California Media Guild/CWA Local 9400 on several fronts seeking community support for the effort to bring about a fair contract. It's a push supported by Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster and the City Council, labor and community organizations.

If Janiga returns to the table April 10 with an offer, it will be the company's first wiggle on wages since both sides began talks for a new pact. The company's original offer was a big zero for the first year, followed by 2 percent increases for the second and third years ---with another 2 percent available in potential merit pay raises (subject to the rights of the union to grieve and arbitrate decisions not favorable to workers).

In an effort to wrap up the talks, the union is offering to accept a wage freeze, but only if the company agrees to demonstrate a dire need to do so by opening its finance books.

Meanwhile, there was a tentative agreement approved Thursday on mileage benefits for photographers: They will receive, under the proposal, $20 per work day (actually worked) stipend, in addition to the above mileage reimbursement provisions.

Once again, Janiga asked for an outline of the limits the union wants on subcontracting out work. The Guild maintains the current contract language protects worker security. However, the Guild agreed to respond April 10 with new language addressing the company's desire to gather content from outside sources while also protecting Guild jobs in the newsroom.

... I'm sure it doesn't need to be said, but let's all thank the bargaining team for the many long hours and hard work they've put in on this. It's not over yet, but all those hours are definitely showing signs of finally bearing fruit.


Anonymous said...

Knock em dead kid! Good luck April 10.

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