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 all current employees. 
                • Reserve the right to call a one-week furlough. 
                    • Remove all assigning editors from the Guild. (Company estimates eight or nine positions)
                        • Create a two-tiered wage structure for advertising and maintenance employees, which reduces the weekly minimum wage rate for employees hired starting in December. 
                            • Greater flexibility to remove merit pay. 
                                • Remove temporary employees (including interns) from the unit, so they are not paid Guild wages and not covered by the contract. 
                                    • Eliminate the re-hire list. (It is currently three years.) 
                                        • Create the right to freely assign photographers and reporters to do each other’s work.

                                          There was no proposed length of the contract. The company proposed no changes to health insurance, holidays and jurisdiction. They proposed no change to vacation accrual, but want a “use it or lose it” provision for vacation not taken in the calendar year.

                                        Talks are scheduled to resume Nov. 3, when the Guild will present its proposal.

                                        Bay Area Media News,

                                        One Comment

                                        1. Heavens! You mean Merc reporters will have to start taking pictures to go with their own stories. How cruel these slave masters are at the Merc! Glad they have a union to stop such outrages.

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