Newly hired copy editors, reporters, photographes and “Internet content providers” would start at $18.75/hour or $39,000 a year (assuming a 2080-hour year), under a proposed contract reached by Guild leaders and MediaNews. The contract goes to a vote of members on Tuesday. The contract will apply to about 180 employees of the Contra Costa Times, Oakland Tribune, San Mateo County Times and other East Bay-Bay Area News Group papers. Here’s a link to the union’s summary of the contract.
- • “We didn’t get everything we wanted, but we think this proposal is a strong starting point to build our future relationship with the company,” said Sara Steffens, unit chair of the East Bay Guild unit. “There are some things in this contract that nobody’s had before at BANG-East Bay.”
• PAY: Minimum hourly pay of $18.75 for journalists (including reporters, photographers, copy editors and internet content providers) and $15.20 for editorial assistants and other support staff, effective six months after ratification.
• GUILD MEMBERSHIP: Bargaining Unit members may choose to join the Guild or not, and can decide whether to pay dues through payroll deduction.
• LAYOFF: Management can layoff Guild Unit members because of economic reasons, and has latitude to consider factors including work record, qualifications, ability to do remaining work and length of service. Laid-off workers go on a rehire list for six months.
• HEALTH BENEFITS: Union and management representatives are pursuing the possibility of adding BANG-East Bay Unit members to the same Guild-run health system that provides affordable, high-quality coverage for San Francisco Chronicle staff. Current health benefits remain unchanged.
• BYLINES: An employee can withhold his or her byline/credit line for journalistic reasons.