Guild objects to arrest of reporters

The Guild has sent the letter below to Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and Police Chief Howard Jordan to object to the arrests of six journalists during Saturday’s Occupy Protests. The Guild is not alone in protesting these arrests. It has been joined by NABET, which represents TV and radio workers, and the Society for Professional Journalists. All parties want a meeting with Mayor Quan. Here is the text of the letter: Dear Mayor Quan and Chief Jordan:  We write to

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Fall tune-up for journalists offered

The Freelance Unit of the Pacific Media Workers is putting on a training seminar Oct. 15 in San Francisco with topics such as “Geek Basics,” Final Cut Pro, telling stories with sound and the business of freelancing. It’s an opportunity for freelancers and staffers to develop new skills. They’re offering 16 different workshops during five sessions. Here is a link. Admission is free to members of NABET, the Guild, the Guild’s new freelancers unit and students at SF City College’s journalism department,

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Merc, BANG-EB Guild members OK new contracts

Guild members at the San Jose Mercury News and the Bay Area News Group-East Bay that call for five unpaid furlough days in the next five months in exchange for no layoffs during that time period, according to a statement from the union. The vote at the Merc was 61 to 47. In the East Bay was 33 to 16. According to the Guild, the contracts also call for a freeze on vacation accruals and “new terms for consolidating editorial

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Contract talks open at Mercury News

The Guild reports that it met Monday (Oct. 11) with company representatives Marshall Anstandig, Andy Huntington and Jim Janiga to begin negotiations for a new contract. The following is from the Guild’s bulletin: They provided financial information documenting declines in advertising revenue, Sunday circulation, staffing and newsprint (tonnage). The company emphasized the need for greater consolidation of newsrooms throughout BANG, which was reflected in their explanation of the goals of the proposal. Here’s the company’s opening proposal: • Pay freeze for

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Chron offers workers a raise next year

The California Media Workers Guild, which represents Chronicle workers, reports that management has given some ground in contract talks including a “small wage increase” (no numbers were given) in 11 months (July 2011). The Guild also reports both sides have reached agreement on sick leave, grievance procedures and layoff notices. Except for the small wage increase, the company offered no money to help protect our health and welfare benefits, and no indication pensions could be restored or that a 401(k)

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Guild leader ‘insulted’ by Chronicle’s latest offer

“There is nothing just, fair or even close to decent in what Chronicle management has offered at the bargaining table,” writes Chron reporter and union leader Michael Cabanatuan (right). “Frankly, the company’s offer is an insult. And we should all feel insulted.” He says the Guild wants: • More time off — workers gave up two weeks of vacation when Hearst was threatening to close the paper  • More money to keep health benefits intact  • More sick leave  •

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Guild hopes to organize freelancers

A new unit of the California Media Workers Guild is forming to support independent writers, editors and journalists of every type. From credentials to benefits, the union hopes to create better working conditions for freelancers. Potential projects of the member-run freelance unit include: • Job-search assistance • Bidding for group benefits such as health insurance • Support with contract and payment disputes • Monitoring legislation to protect the interests of freelancers • Resource and referral directories The new Guild unit

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MediaNews cuts pay 5% in East Bay newsrooms

MediaNews Group has cut the pay of about 175 newsroom employees in its East Bay cluster of dailies by 5%, and a second round of cuts is coming in January. Papers in MNG’s Bay Area News Group-East Bay include the Oakland Tribune, Contra Costa Times, Fremont Argus, Hayward Daily Review, West County Times, East County Times, San Ramon Valley Times, Valley Times, Tri-Valley Herald, San Joaquin Valley Herald and San Mateo County Times. MNG cut the pay of management and

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Karen de Sa’ to lead Guild at Merc

The California Newspaper Workers Guild reports that award-winning reporter Karen de Sa’ was elected by her colleagues Thursday (Aug. 20) to lead a new team of Guild officers at the San Jose Mercury News. Unit members elected de Sa’ by acclimation to serve out the remainder of a three-year term as Mercury News Unit Chair, through December 2010. The previous unit chair, Mary Anne Ostrow, a political writer, resigned from the newspaper this summer. De Sa’ said it was time

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Workers ratify BANG-East Bay contract

Newsroom employees at the Contra Costa Times, Oakland Tribune and other MediaNews Group papers that are part of BANG-EB have ratified a contract that sets a minimum $18.75/hour ($39,000 a year) wage for reporters, copy editors, photographers and Internet content providers. The contract will apply to about 180 employees. The Guild’s Web site said the vote was 57 in favor, 2 opposed, in ballots cast during ratification meetings held in Walnut Creek and in Oakland. The tally did not include

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