Archive | November, 2012

The Post’s iPad Ski Guide Gets Some Props

30 Nov
The Denver Post

The Denver Post

IN CASE YOU missed it, The Denver Post released a really nice iPad edition of the Ski Guide that got a good review from Talking New Media, which calls it “by far the best thing I’ve seen out of MediaNews Group or the Journal Register Company.”

And for those who don’t have in iPad, the post has a video of the app in action — did I already say it’s really nice?

The site also published an update with more “insider” information later Nov. 27:

I think their effort is far more interesting and exciting now that I know more what they are doing in Denver.

And a tip of the hat to Post editor Greg Moore for posting the link to the review on The Water Cooler.

Here’s a link to the free Ski Guide app on iTunes LINK

The Guild is Looking for a Few Good Stewards

29 Nov

A ONE DAY training session for current union stewards and those who would like to become a steward is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Communication Workers of America District 7 office at 8085 E. Prentice Ave. in Greenwood Village (I-25 and Belleview Avenue). Lost-time pay will be available for anyone wishing to attend the training.

If you are interested in attending, please contact the Denver Newspaper Guild office at 303-595-9818 or by 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30.

From the FAQs section of the DNG website:

What is a Steward?
Stewards are employees who volunteer their help to make sure the contract is followed. They do this by answering your questions, helping you find solutions to problems and representing you in meetings with your managers. Wondering what your rights and responsibilities are? Check with a steward. They should be your first contact if you have a problem on the job.

When Should I Ask a Steward to Represent Me?
You have the right to have a steward present at any meeting that could affect your relationship with the company — whether it is a disciplinary meeting or not. If a manager asks to speak with you in private, ask a steward to go with you. Why? Not because you can’t stand up for yourself, but because a steward standing beside you makes you a stronger employee, one who won’t be taken advantage of, intimidated, or treated inappropriately. A steward also can help you and your manager work out solutions to problems. Managers know you have the right to a steward, and cannot prevent you from exercising that right. You will find that encounters with managers are far more fair and productive when a steward is present. If you go into a manager’s office alone, it’s your word against theirs if any information from that meeting sparks an issue.

For more information on union stewards, click here.

Newspaper Ends “Horrible Experiment” With Offshore Customer Service

20 Nov

WHAT MAKES THIS extra interesting is that this is a Journal Register Co. paper. Be sure to read the comments on the Facebook page where the news was originally announced.

From “Michigan Newspaper Ends ‘Horrible Experiment’ With Offshore Customer Service,” Nov. 20, 2012.

For about two years now, Mount Pleasant (Mich.) Morning Sun readers with delivery complaints have been sent to a call center in the Dominican Republic — and often not getting satisfactory results.

“Language barrier was a huge problem,” editor Rick Mills tells me in an email.


Mills credits Journal Register CEO John Paton for trying the outsourcing, seeing that it didn’t work, and then going back to the old way.


And bear in mind that outsourcing and layoffs were written into the contract recently ratified by the Non-Newsroom Unit. From a July 27 post:

In order to reach agreement on the full contract, The Post continues to insist that any agreement must include the amount of savings from the circulation call centers that they can achieve by sending that work to Honduras. After months of trying to negotiate an agreement that would keep the call center work at the Post, but reduce costs enough to be competitive with a Central American call center, it has become clear that the math just will not work. So the union presented a proposal accepting the outsourcing of the call center work in exchange for additional compensation and benefits for those who will be displaced but will continue working until their job is eliminated, increased compensation for call center employees who are retained and a timeline for the transition of work to Honduras. Most of the details have been tentatively agreed to. The timeline and a few benefits issues are not yet resolved.

The outsourcing likely will result in the elimination of more than 30 local call center employees’ jobs, leaving two full-time employees and five part-time employees.