Non-newsroom Bargaining: Session Nine

11 Apr

DENVER NEWSPAPER GUILD and Denver Post representatives met April 10.

Management explained their prior proposal regarding productions maintenance positions.

Management had proposed to eliminate the positions of Building Maintenance Mechanic, Machinist and Electrician I, II and III. Under their proposal:

  • Those positions would be replaced with one position titled Production Maintenance Technician.
  • The number of positions would be reduced from 20 to 16.
  • Current employees would need to apply for the new position.
  • Current employees who are hired would be grandfathered at their current pay rate.
  • Current employees who are hired would be placed on a 90 day probation period that could be extended 45 days.
  • Those employees who don’t apply or are not selected for the position and those who don’t make it through probation would be paid severance.
  • New hires in the position would start at $23 an hour and top scale would be $25 an hour.

Management’s proposal was to create a new position under language in the current contract, not to wait to implement the change when a full agreement is reached. They explained that several companies have moved to this model to gain efficiencies, therefore saving money on staff.

The union committee presented a verbal counter proposal. Under the union’s proposal:

  • One lead may direct the work of employees in all production maintenance job titles working on a shift.
  • All production maintenance employees may be assigned to any work in the production maintenance department that they are capable of performing and can be assigned to assist on any work for efficiencies and in order to learn that work.
  • Reduce the staff by making separation offers to production maintenance employees that management believes may not be able to learn and perform all production maintenance work.
  • Delete the provision preventing electricians from being assigned to perform manual labor.

Management accepted the flexibility proposed by the union and dropped the idea of having current employees apply for the new combined job. They rejected the idea of offering buyouts and informed the union that they will be announcing a layoff of four production maintenance employees. Management will discuss the expectations in production maintenance going forward and the option to resign or retire with severance available to all production maintenance employees. The flexibility will be implemented immediately.

Talks will continue regarding the possible implementation and pay of one job title encompassing all production maintenance work.

The company’s proposal to outsource circulation call center work was also discussed. The union committee questions the accuracy of some numbers being used to compare outsourcing to the current operation. Management agreed to review those numbers. Call center work will be discussed again on May 8.

Kathy Rudolph
Sam Johnson
Maureen Shively
Michelle Miller
Tom Peterson
Laurie Faliano
Paulette Shrefler
Tony Mulligan

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