Company asks Guild, other unions, for $22 million in concessions

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Today the Company gave the Guild and the building’s other unions their demands — their “scorecard” — as the opening salvo in contract negotiations. While there is a smidgen of good news for Newspaper Guild members — the Company is not asking for any job cuts from us — the overall concessions sought are significant. During a meeting lasting nearly three hours, the Company asked for $22 million in concessions. These concessions are basically equal to the amount of money the Company projects to lose this year.

For Guild members, these concessions would mean:

* An increase in your contribution to health care

* Elimination of personal days

* Elimination of the 5th week of vacation

* Elimination of Company-paid dental and vision insurance

* Elimination of life insurance

* Imposition of 60% sick pay

* Elimination of the cap on the 10% wage diversion

Other unions stand to lose a significant — though not yet calculated — number of jobs. Present at the table for the Company, among others, were Steve Spolar, attorney Jeremy Sherman, Henry Gorman, Lisa Hurm. The Unity Council and its attorney, Joe Pass, made it abundantly clear to the Company that the unions viewed the Company’s “scorecard” as an attempt to use us to invest in the future of the PG without any sacrifice from the PG, its parent company, BCI, or the Blocks.

We also made clear that although the Post-Gazette is losing money, BCI most certainly is not. No negotiating sessions are scheduled yet. We are engaging in the process of obtaining financial information from the Company before talks begin. As our contract negotiations progress, the Company is in the final stages of buying a new, state-of-the-art press and leasing space for its production facilities. No decisions have yet been made on where the newsroom and other non-trade operations will go. We will update you with more information as it becomes available.

Please feel free to direct any questions to your negotiating team: Mike, Ken, Sally, Ed and Jon.

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