The Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh celebrated a milestone on July 1 — the first time in a decade that the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has provided a new benefit to members.
To celebrate, the executive committee enlisted the services of member and baker extraordinaire Kelly Mills, who made 15 dozen cupcakes with green icing and gold sprinkles that were enjoyed by members, interns and managers alike.
Negotiated during 18 difficult months of contract talks, the contract ratified in October now requires the Company to provide a $10 weekly contribution to a member’s 401k if they already contribute $20 a week. That contribution will double next July 1 to $20 a week with a $40 weekly employee contribution. And Guild members will receive a 2 percent raise on March 31.
Those improvements–in addition to a $1,000 signing bonus and salary improvements for two-year associates and the Harrisburg and Washington, D.C., bureaus–represent a major shift in what had been a decade of onerous givebacks to owner Block Communications Inc.
“The $10 contribution that went into effect July 1 may be small literally but figuratively it’s huge when all the givebacks over the last decade are considered,” said Pittsburgh local president Michael A. Fuoco.
“We view this contract as a transition between a company mindset of givebacks and a new appreciation of the need to reward the talent, experience and commitment of our members.”