Thursday, May 8, 2008

5/30 bargaining update

We just got word on today’s bargaining session, and the subcontracting out of our work is continuing to be a thorny subject.

The company reversed their pledge to bring to the table a counter proposal addressing wages and subcontracting language. They want "flexibility to gather content in any way we see fit," according to MediaNews negotiator Jim Janiga. The current language ("The employer retains the right to subcontract work except that no employee shall lose his/her job as a result of augmenting the workforce") gives MediaNews the right to subcontract as much work as they want, but still protects staff.

MediaNews also stated that if the Guild accepts MediaNews' proposal giving them the ability to terminate positions unilaterally, then they would be willing to bring a proposal with a wage increase in the first year.

Another bargaining session has been scheduled for later this month, and the bargaining team tells us they will continue to fight for job protection language in a subcontracting proposal.

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