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Newsroom Contract Ratified

25 Sep

THE NEW CONTRACT covering Denver Post employees in the newsroom was accepted by the membership. The voting margin was 94.7 percent for the new contract and 5.3 percent against.

The new agreement is effective immediately.

Thomas McKay
Kieran Nicholson
Jim Ludvik
Kyle Wagner
Kevin Hamm
Tony Mulligan
Sara Burnett (in memory)

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Newsroom Contract Informational Meeting and Ratification Vote

18 Sep

WE WILL HOLD a meeting Wednesday, Sept. 19, to explain the newsroom’s new proposed contract.
Members of the bargaining committee will be there to explain what’s new or different and answer questions.

We will vote to ratify the contract on the following Tuesday, Sept. 25.

If you cannot make the informational meeting and you have questions, feel free to contact any bargaining committee member.

If you cannot make the ratification vote, contact Tom McKay (303-954-1322 or tmckay@denverpost.com) or Tony at the Guild office ( 303-595-9818 or dng@denvernewspaperguild.org) to arrange for absentee voting.

Informational meeting
Date: Wednesday, Sept. 19
Time: 4 pm
Location: First floor auditorium

Ratification vote
Date: Tuesday, Sept. 25
Time: Noon to 1:30 pm and 4 pm to 5:30 pm
Location: 10th floor lunchroom

Non-newsroom Contract Ratified

5 Sep

THE NEW GUILD CONTRACT covering Denver Post employees in departments other than the newsroom was accepted by the membership. The new agreement is effective immediately. Circulation wage reductions will take effect on Sunday, September 9, 2012.

Bargaining Committee:

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

Newsroom Bargaining: Sessions 16 and 17 Result in Tentative Agreement

4 Sep

A TENTATIVE AGREEMENT on all outstanding bargaining issues was reached by Newsroom Guild and management representatives after sessions on August 21 and August 31.

Our next steps will be to craft specific language for this new contract. After that, we will share the proposed contract will all members and hold meetings to answer questions. Then we will vote.

What follows is a brief summary of our tentative agreement. It is not necessarily the language that will be in the contract, but is intended for explanation only.

TERM

  • Sept. 10, 2014 (same as the non-newsroom unit.)

PENSION PLAN

  • The local newsroom pension plan shall be frozen.
  • All benefit service credits for current participant accounts will be considered to be vested.
  • All Guild-covered employees shall receive two times the benefit for this year (2012). This has essentially the same effect as adding one additional year of benefits.
  • There are no changes to our second, much smaller plan, The Newspaper Guild International Pension Plan.

401(k)

  • The company match to the 401(k) will continue to be suspended indefinitely.

PERFORMANCE APPRAISALS

  • A performance-appraisal system will be created and instituted. This will involve giving each employee a preview performance appraisal to explain the system and what is to be expected from employees. Approximately six months later a first full performance appraisal will be done for each employee. After this, employees will have performance appraisals around the anniversary of their date of hire.
  • The Guild and management will work together to create, review and possibly modify the performance-appraisal process.

REDUCTION IN FORCE (SENIORITY)

  • For the period between contract ratification and the time when all employees who were on staff at the time of ratification have had their second full performance appraisal, our current language using seniority within job titles shall be used in the event of a layoff. The only exception will be for reporters and columnists. They will have the additional criteria of department. To better explain this, if we were to go through layoffs currently, and the company decided to cut reporters, they would have to start with the least-senior reporters, regardless of which department — Features, Sports, etc. — they work for. The proposed language would allow the company to specify which department they intend to trim by laying off reporters and columnists. Those reporters and columnists to be laid off would be the least-senior in the specified department.
  • After completion of the second full performance appraisal for all employees (on staff at the time of ratification), layoffs will be conducted using a point system. Points are determined as follows:
    • A maximum of 40 points for seniority. (Two points for each year of service within a job title.)
    • A maximum of 30 points for General Competencies based on an employee’s most recent performance appraisal.
    • A maximum of 30 points for Specific Skills Assessment based on an employee’s most recent performance appraisal.
  • After implementation, if performance appraisals are not completed according to the terms described above (the two bulleted items under PERFORMANCE APPRAISALS), any layoffs would be done using reverse-seniority by job title, except for reporters and columnists who will be considered by department and job title.
  • Employees affected by layoffs may still bump back to previously held guild-covered positions.

YOURHUB

  • Community Manager wage scale goes from $562 per week to $605 per week.
  • Community Journalist wage scale goes from $562 per week to $630 per week.
  • YourHub staff will be allowed to write stories for The Denver Post and will be paid at Denver Post reporter wage rate for such stories.
  • The memorandum of agreement concerning YourHub will be moved into the body of the contract.

NEW OR MODIFIED EQUIPMENT OR PROCESSES

  • The company shall provide The Guild three months’ notice, if possible, and no less than one months’ notice of intent to introduce new or modified equipment, machines, apparatus or processes that will create new job titles or alter the job content of existing job titles. This shortens the time frame for the company to implement changes in equipment or processes.

EQUIPMENT

  • The company will reimburse up to $50 per month for employees required by management to have a cell phone and up to $25 per month for employees required to transmit data from their cell phones.

HEALTH INSURANCE

  • No change from current contract. The premium share for all newsroom employees remains at 30 percent.

BEREAVEMENT LEAVE

  • Currently, employees can only take bereavement leave within seven days of a death. The proposed contract allows employees to take bereavement leave farther out than one week if they notify their supervisor within five business days of the death and work with their supervisor to schedule time off.

WAGES

  • Current wage scales will remain for the term of the contract. The sole exception is YourHub wage scales.

WORKING IN A HIGHER CLASS (HOURS OF WORK AND OVERTIME)

  • No changes to current contract. Employees must work for more than four hours in a higher wage classification (in any one shift of eight hours) to be paid at the higher wage rate for those hours working in the higher class.

FEATURES SECTION EDITORS

  • The job titles of Travel Editor, Fashion Editor, Book Editor and Assistant Features Editor will be replaced with title Section Editor. Section Editors will be paid at Classification 16 scale. The six employees who have been working as Section Editors will be reclassified as such.

UNION SHOP

  • As a condition of employment, all Guild-covered newsroom employees will be required to join The Guild and pay dues.

If you have questions that cannot wait until we hold Q and A sessions, contact any of the bargaining committee members.

Thomas McKay
Sara Burnett
Kieran Nicholson
Jim Ludvik
Kyle Wagner
Kevin Hamm
Tony Mulligan

Non-newsroom Tentative Contract And Voting Schedule

29 Aug

The Denver Newspaper Guild Non-newsroom Bargaining Unit Tentative Agreement

Summary of changes to the current contract:

Term

March 10, 2012 to September 10, 2014 (Changes effective upon ratification. Wage and mileage changes effective September 9, 2012)

Article VI, Union Security

Full union shop except for outside Account Executives.

Article IX, Severance

Bi-weekly payments of severance or lump sum upon request.

Article XII, Defined Contribution Plan 401(k)

Delete Employer match

Article XIV, Hours of Work and Overtime

In addition to 15 minute breaks for those who work on computers, add 10 minute breaks for all other employees

Article XVIII, The Denver Post Health Plan

Change part-time eligibility to an average of 30 hours per week.

Article XX, Leaves of Absence

Bereavement leave – Within seven (7) days of the death, the employee shall work with his/her supervisor to schedule the time off.

Article XXIII, Wages

Except as noted below concerning District Managers, Assistant District Managers, Single Copy Sales Representatives, Customer Service Representatives, Associates, and Coordinators, all current scales will remain the same for the life of the Agreement.

Article XXIV, General Wage Provisions

The Post may change pay dates with 30 days prior notice to employees and the union. Management and the union will work out details of a transition plan.

Article XXV, Expenses and Equipment

Employees making their personal automobiles available for use at the authorization of the Employer shall be reimbursed for all business miles at the IRS rate less 15 cents per mile.

Article XXIX, No Strike

Add “and employees” after “Union” in the first and last sentences.

Call Center

The Company and the Union agree to an exception to Article II, Jurisdiction of the Contract to allow for the outsourcing of most Circulation Customer Service and Retention/Verification Call Center work. The Company may outsource the handling of inbound customer service calls and outbound retention or verification calls. Remaining circulation call center work including but not limited to customer emails, escalated calls, Fix Files (duplicates, stand alone, PBM at two addresses, hybrids) circulation field requests, field follow up and processing refunds and reversals and any similar work remains under the jurisdiction of the Guild, to be performed by Guild-covered employees.

To facilitate the transfer of work and the reduction in force, the Parties agree as follows:

Outsourcing may occur in phases, but shall begin no sooner than sixty (60) days after ratification of the Agreement and shall be completed within one hundred and twenty (120) days after ratification.

After outsourcing is completed, at least two (2) full-time call center positions and 130 hours of part-time work shall be retained for at least six (6) months.

Prior to call center staff reductions, the Company shall provide to all affected employees, a comprehensive description of the duties of the remaining jobs, a mock schedule and the location where the work will be performed, with the understanding that the location may be changed in the future. Affected employees shall be given notice of any move at least thirty (30) days prior to a location change. The Company shall also provide a schedule of projected dates that staff reductions will occur and the number of positions expected to be reduced on each date.

For the purpose of staff reductions, all inbound and outbound Circulation Customer Service Associates, Circulation Customer Service Representatives and Circulation Customer Service Coordinators shall be in one pool without regard of full-time or part-time status. Layoffs shall be conducted in reverse company seniority order regardless of full-time/part-time status or job title.

Two weeks prior to the effective date of layoff for each phase, the Company shall post notice of the layoff date and the number of positions to be eliminated. During the two-week period, call center employees may volunteer to resign or retire with severance. If there are more volunteers than the number of positions being eliminated, volunteers will be accepted in seniority order.

Part-time employees who remain employed until layoff or resignation during the layoff period shall be eligible for a severance benefit as follows:

  • Less than 1 year of service – $500 lump sum before taxes
  • One to two years of service – $1,000 lump sum before taxes
  • More than two years of service – $400 for each year of service or partial year of service capped at $4,000 lump sum before taxes.

Call center employees who are laid off shall be rehired to fill call center vacancies as provided under Article VII, Employee Security, Section 4(h) through (l) except all laid off employees will be placed on one rehire list without regard to job title or full-time/part-time status, and the rehire list shall be maintained for eighteen (18) months. Employees who elect to resign with severance during the layoff period shall not be placed on the rehire list.

For employees who are enrolled in medical and dental insurance and are laid off or resign during the layoff, the Employer shall pay six (6) months of COBRA subsidy, whereby the Employer pays its share of the monthly premium and the 2% fee.

The Employer shall provide job search and resume writing counseling for all call center employees.

Call center employees who are laid off or resign during the layoff period shall retain eligibility to use Mines and Associates, the Employee Assistance Program provider for six months after separation.

Full-time employees who retain employment shall be scheduled 40 hours within 5 days per week.

Full-time employees who retain employment but move to part-time status shall retain eligibility for severance upon layoff. For those employees, the severance amount shall be the amount the employee was entitled to on the implementation date of this Agreement.

Upon completion of outsourcing, wages for all remaining call center employees except those who were Customer Service Coordinators shall be the Customer Service Representative pre-concession rate (Classification 26).

Upon completion of outsourcing, any Customer Service Coordinators who remain employed shall have their weekly pay reduced by $50 to $753. One year later those employees shall have their weekly pay reduced to $710 per week, top scale of pay classification 26.

Call center employees who remain employed after outsourcing is completed may elect to resign with severance within 60 days after the completion of outsourcing. For unemployment purposes, such resignations will be treated as layoffs. Vacancies shall be filled by rehire from the list of laid off employees.

Three months after outsourcing is completed, the Company and the Union shall meet to discuss work expectations and possible changes to the job description.

If The Post decides to return inbound and/or outbound call center work to the U.S.A., the Guild shall be provided a request for proposal (RFP) and shall be allowed an opportunity to submit a proposal to return the work to The Post under the Guild’s jurisdiction. In deciding whether to accept the Guild proposal verses any other proposal, The Post’s decision shall not be for arbitrary or discriminatory reasons.

Home Delivery
  • District Managers – 7.5% cut to $1,132 per week.
  • Assistant District Managers – 6.75% cut to $726 per week.
  • Severance based on continuous full-time service. (ZM/exempt time counts)
  • In the home delivery department, the pay system shall be pre-populated with scheduled hours. Time cards shall be submitted on the last day worked in a pay-week. Hours on the timecard that differ from the scheduled hours shall be entered into the pay system. Zone Managers shall not discourage employees from submitting hours worked or offer comp time in lieu of overtime pay except time to be taken in the same pay-week.
Single Copy
  • The pay rate of Single Copy Sales Representatives shall be $1,087 per week until the last day of the Agreement, then reduce to 29A top scale of $950 per week effect on the last day of the Agreement.
  • MOA #2 Continues.
Production Maintenance

Production Maintenance employees shall all move to the new job title of Production Maintenance Technician after the parties agree that all employees have received adequate cross training to perform any work that may be required of a Production Maintenance Technician. The Parties will meet in January 2013 to determine if they mutually agree to move to one title and to discuss the bidding process/structure.

If you would like a copy of the full tentative contract with all changes marked, please email the Guild office at dng@denvernewspaperguild.org and we will send you a copy.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Guild Contract Ratification Schedule

The tentative agreement on a new contract between the Denver Newspaper Guild and The Denver Post will be presented to the non-newsroom bargaining unit members for a ratification vote on Sept. 4 and 5, 2012.

Voting Schedule

Any bargaining unit member may vote at any of the times and locations listed below.

Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012:
  • Washington Street Plant lunchroom, 5990 N. Washington Street — 6:15 to 6:45 a.m.
  • 58th Avenue warehouse, 5755 Washington St., Unit B — 7 to 8 a.m.
  • Tech Center 7th floor lunchroom, 7900 E. Union Avenue — 1 to 2:30 p.m.
  • Colfax office, auditorium (1st floor), 101 W. Colfax — 4:30 to 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012:
  • Dartmouth warehouse, 3149 S. Platte River Drive — 7 to 8 a.m.
  • Sable warehouse, 452 Sable Blvd. Unit A — 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.
  • Colfax office, auditorium (1st floor), 101 W. Colfax — 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Washington Street lunchroom, 5990 N. Washington Street — 2 to 3 p.m.
  • The Guild Office, 1175 Osage Street, Suite 205 — 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Ballots will be counted in the Guild office by the bargaining committee at 5 p.m.

Non-newsroom Bargaining: Session 16

9 Aug

GUILD AND POST REPRESENTATIVES reached a tentative agreement on a new contact. The components of the tentative pact are summarized below. Over the next couple of weeks, the company and union will finalize the language of the agreement. After that process is completed, the tentative agreement will be made available to all members and ratification meetings will be scheduled. Ratification meetings will be held no sooner than the first week in September.

Tentative Agreement
Summary of changes to the current contract:

Term
• September 10, 2014

Article VI, Union Security
• Full union shop except for outside Account Executives.

Article IX, Severance
• Bi-weekly payments of severance or lump sum upon request.

Article XII, Defined Contribution Plan 401(k)
• Delete Employer match

Article XIV, Hours of Work and Overtime
• In addition to 15-minute breaks for those who work on computers, add 10-minute breaks for all other employees

Article XVIII, The Denver Post Health Plan
• Change part-time eligibility to an average of 30 hours per week.

Article XX, Leaves of Absence
• Bereavement leave – Within seven (7) days of the death, the employee shall work with his/her supervisor to schedule the time off.

Article XXIII, Wages
• Except as noted below concerning District Managers, Assistant District Managers, Single Copy Sales Representatives, Customer Service Representatives, Associates and Coordinators, all current scales will remain the same for the life of the Agreement.
• The Post may change pay dates with 30 days prior notice to employees and the union. Management and the union will work out details of a transition plan.

Article XXV, Expenses and Equipment
• Employees making their personal automobiles available for use at the authorization of the Employer shall be reimbursed for all business miles at the IRS rate less 15 cents per mile.

Article XXIX, No Strike
• Add “and employees” after “Union” in the first and last sentences.

Call Center
The Company and the Union agree to an exception to Article II, Jurisdiction of the Contract to allow for the outsourcing of most Circulation Customer Service and Retention/Verification Call Center work. The Company may outsource the handling of inbound customer service calls and outbound retention or verification calls. Remaining circulation call center work including but not limited to customer emails, escalated calls, Fix Files (duplicates, stand alone, PBM at two addresses, hybrids) circulation field requests, field follow up and processing refunds and reversals and any similar work remains under the jurisdiction of the Guild, to be performed by Guild-covered employees.

To facilitate the transfer of work and the reduction in force, the Parties agree as follows:

Outsourcing may occur in phases, but shall begin no sooner than sixty (60) days after ratification of the Agreement and shall be completed within one hundred and twenty (120) days after ratification.

After outsourcing is completed, at least two (2) full-time call center positions and 130 hours of part-time work shall be retained for at least six (6) months.

Prior to call center staff reductions, the Company shall provide to all affected employees, a comprehensive description of the duties of the remaining jobs, a mock schedule and the location where the work will be performed, with the understanding that the location may be changed in the future. Affected employees shall be given notice of any move at least thirty (30) days prior to a location change. The Company shall also provide a schedule of projected dates that staff reductions will occur and the number of positions expected to be reduced on each date.

For the purpose of staff reductions, all inbound and outbound Circulation Customer Service Associates, Circulation Customer Service Representatives and Circulation Customer Service Coordinators shall be in one pool without regard of full-time or part-time status. Layoffs shall be conducted in reverse company seniority order regardless of full-time/part-time status or job title.

Two weeks prior to the effective date of layoff for each phase, the Company shall post notice of the layoff date and the number of positions to be eliminated. During the two-week period, call center employees may volunteer to resign or retire with severance. If there are more volunteers than the number of positions being eliminated, volunteers will be accepted in seniority order.

Part-time employees who remain employed until layoff or resignation during the layoff period shall be eligible for a severance benefit as follows:

  • Less than 1 year of service – $500 lump sum before taxes
  • One to two years of service – $1,000 lump sum before taxes
  • More than two years of service – $400 for each year of service or partial year of service capped at $4,000 lump sum before taxes.

Call center employees who are laid off shall be rehired to fill call center vacancies as provided under Article VII, Employee Security, Section 4(h) through (l) except all laid off employees will be placed on one rehire list without regard to job title or full-time/part-time status, and the rehire list shall be maintained for eighteen (18) months. Employees who elect to resign with severance during the layoff period shall not be placed on the rehire list.

For employees who are enrolled in medical and dental insurance and are laid off or resign during the layoff, the Employer shall pay six (6) months of COBRA subsidy, whereby the Employer pays its share of the monthly premium and the 2% fee.

The Employer shall provide job search and resume writing counseling for all call center employees.

Call center employees who are laid off or resign during the layoff period shall retain eligibility to use Mines and Associates, the Employee Assistance Program provider for six months after separation.

Full-time employees who retain employment shall be scheduled 40 hours within 5 days per week.

Full-time employees who retain employment but move to part-time status shall retain eligibility for severance upon layoff. For those employees, the severance amount shall be the amount the employee was entitled to on the implementation date of this Agreement.

Upon completion of outsourcing, wages for all remaining call center employees except those who were Customer Service Coordinators shall be the Customer Service Representative pre-concession rate (Classification 26).

Upon completion of outsourcing, any Customer Service Coordinators who remain employed shall have their weekly pay reduced by $50 to $753. One year later those employees shall have their weekly pay reduced to $710 per week, top scale of pay classification 26.

Call center employees who remain employed after outsourcing is completed may elect to resign with severance within 60 days after the completion of outsourcing. For unemployment purposes, such resignations will be treated as layoffs. Vacancies shall be filled by rehire from the list of laid off employees.

Three months after outsourcing is completed, the Company and the Union shall meet to discuss work expectations and possible changes to the job description.

If The Post decides to return inbound and/or outbound call center work to the U.S.A., the Guild shall be provided a request for proposal (RFP) and shall be allowed an opportunity to submit a proposal to return the work to The Post under the Guild’s jurisdiction. In deciding whether to accept the Guild proposal verses any other proposal, The Post’s decision shall not be for arbitrary or discriminatory reasons.

Home Delivery
• District Managers – 7.5% cut to $1,132 per week.
• Assistant District Managers – 6.75% cut to $726 per week.
• Severance based on continuous full-time service. (ZM/exempt time counts)

In the home delivery department, the pay system shall be pre-populated with scheduled hours. Time cards shall be submitted on the last day worked in a pay-week. Hours on the timecard that differ from the scheduled hours shall be entered into the pay system. Zone Managers shall not discourage employees from submitting hours worked or offer comp time in lieu of overtime pay except time to be taken in the same pay-week.

Single Copy
• Effective on implementation, weekly pay of $1,087 until the last day of the Agreement, then 29A scale of $950 per week effect on the last day of the Agreement.
• Memorandum of Agreement No. 2 Continues.

Production Maintenance
• Production Maintenance employees shall all move to the new job title of Production Maintenance Technician after the parties agree that all employees have received adequate cross training to perform any work that may be required of a Production Maintenance Technician. The Parties will meet in January 2013 to discuss if they mutually agree to move to one title and to discuss the bidding process/structure.

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

Non-newsroom Bargaining: Session 15

27 Jul

DENVER NEWSPAPER GUILD and Denver Post representatives met July 25.

Over the course of the day, the company and union exchanged multiple proposals and counter proposals covering all remaining issues. The two big issues are outsourcing of the inbound (customer service) and outbound (retention) circulation call centers and the pay rates for circulation home delivery and single copy employees.

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.

A tentative agreement was reached concerning pay cuts in the home delivery department. Pay for District Managers and Assistant District Managers will be cut to the 2009 concession rates, a 7.5 percent cut for District Managers and 6.75 percent cut for Assistant District Managers. The amount of pay cuts for some single copy employees has not yet been agreed to.

Mileage reimbursement for those who use their personal car for work will be reduced to 15 cents below the IRS rate.

Under provisions that have been tentatively agreed to and proposals still being negotiated, very little will change for most Guild-covered employees. Wages, pension, insurance benefits and sick leave will remain unchanged.

Subjects that have not yet been resolved include:

  • The length of the new contract
  • Some jurisdiction issues
  • Union security
  • Part-time eligibility for health insurance
  • A few call center issues
  • Single copy pay

The next bargaining session is scheduled for Aug. 9.

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

Newsroom Bargaining: Session 15

21 Jul

GUILD AND MANAGEMENT representatives met June 20 to continue collective bargaining for the newsroom.

We began by going over a list of things that need to be cleaned up in our existing contract. Some of these items were simple, such as removing obsolete concession and snapback language. Other core items such as pensions and wages required more discussion.

After lunch, the COMPANY handed out a proposal encompassing issues that are still on the table.
After reviewing the company’s initial proposal, the GUILD drafted a counter proposal, noted below in blue.
The COMPANY considered the guild’s proposal and offered their second-round proposal, noted in maroon.

PENSION PLAN

  • COMPANY: Freeze the local pension plan. This means whatever amount you are entitled to today will be all you receive from the local plan when you retire. There would be no additional pension benefits for future years of employment. New employees would have no pension from the local plan. The Company did not propose any changes to The Newspaper Guild International Pension Plan, the much smaller of our two pension plans.
  • GUILD: Reduce the local pension benefit formula by half. Employees would receive the full pension they have earned to now plus one half benefits for years beyond today.
  • COMPANY: No change from initial proposal.

401(k)

  • COMPANY: The 401(k) plan shall continue to be offered to employees. The company match to the 401(k) is eliminated. The company can change or alter the 401(k) plan.
  • GUILD: Continue the suspension of the 401(k) match.
  • COMPANY: No change from initial proposal.

YOURHUB

  • COMPANY: 1) YourHub staff may be assigned to write stories specifically for The Denver Post at the Denver Post reporter wage rate.
    2) The Denver Post may publish any YourHub story.
    3) Increase YourHub wages by 10 percent.
  • GUILD: 1) The committee agreed that YourHub staff will be allowed to write stories for The Denver Post at Denver Post reporter scale.
    2) The committee agreed with the company proposal to allow The Denver Post to publish YourHub content.
    3) To put the company’s proposed YourHub wage increase in context, a 10 percent increase would have a YourHub staffer earning $124 less per week than what a top-of-scale Editorial Assistant currently makes, or $115 less per week than a first-year reporter regardless of how long the YourHub staffer has been employed with The Post. (Figures are for base pay only and do not include any merit pay.)
    The Guild’s counter-proposal is to have new YourHub employees start at the current rate of $562 per week. YourHub staffers with one year of experience would earn $624 per week (10 percent above current scale.) Staffers with three or more years experience would receive $686 per week.
    4) YourHub staff should be eligible for severance in the event the YourHub publications are discontinued.
  • COMPANY: The company noted a tentative agreement to the first two points, offered no change from their initial proposal regarding wages and did not respond to the Guild’s fourth point on severance.

COPY DESK

  • COMPANY: Elimination of the Copy Editor, Assistant Copy Desk Chief and Wire Editor positions and creation of the Assistant Editor position to be paid at Classification 17 scale.
  • GUILD: The bargaining committee worked with the company to allow the changes to the former copy desk.
  • COMPANY: The company noted a tentative agreement to the Copy Desk issue.

PERFORMANCE APPRAISALS

  • COMPANY: Within 30 days after the date of a new contract, the company will have a preview evaluation with each newsroom employee to explain the performance-appraisal system. Six months later, each employee will be given a full performance appraisal. Thereafter performance appraisals will be done on the employee’s anniversary date of hire.
  • GUILD: Thirty to 60 days after the date of a new contract, the company will have a preview evaluation with each newsroom employee. Six months later, the company will provide each employee with a full performance appraisal. This first round of full appraisals will be completed within two months. Six months after the first full appraisal, each employee will receive a second full appraisal. The second round of full appraisals will be completed within two months. Thereafter full performance appraisals will be completed within two weeks of each employee’s anniversary date of hire.
    Any changes to the performance appraisal system shall be negotiated between the Company and the Guild.
  • COMPANY: Essentially the same as the Guild’s counter proposal except that there shall only be a preview evaluation and one round of full appraisals before regular appraisals are performed within two weeks of an employee’s anniversary date.

REDUCTION IN FORCE — ARTICLE VII-B, SECTION 4

  • COMPANY: In the event of layoffs to reduce the workforce, our current language considering seniority within a job title would be used. However, an additional layer of department would be added. That is, layoffs would be considered by job title within a department rather than by job title across the newsroom. In addition, the company proposed that each side, company and guild, would be allowed to protect no more than two employees from being laid off.
    After the last day of the contract we are bargaining now, or after all employees have received their second full performance appraisals corresponding with their anniversary dates, whichever is later, layoffs shall be based on seniority, work record, the employee’s qualifications and ability to do the remaining work.
  • GUILD: Prior to the completion of the second full performance appraisal, the current layoff language considering seniority will be used except in the case of reporters who would use seniority by job title within a department. Departments are defined as Metro/Business, Sports and Features.
    After the second full performance appraisals are completed, determinations for layoffs shall be in reverse order of the total number of points. How points for each employee are calculated:
    — Two points for every year of service within a job title, up to a maximum of 50 points.
    — Up to 50 points for an employee’s performance appraisal. If an employee has not had a performance appraisal within six months prior to the notice of a layoff, the most recent appraisal may be revisited and updated.
    If two or more employees have the same total points, seniority with the company will be the tie breaker.
  • COMPANY: Prior to the completion of the second full performance appraisal, our current layoff language will apply by job title by department. Departments are Metro, Business, Sports, Features and Editorial Page. In addition, each party can protect one employee in a department.
    After the second full performance appraisals are completed, layoffs shall be by job title by department in reverse order of the total number of points. Points are determined as follows:
    — One point for every year of service within a job title, up to a maximum of 20 points.
    — Up to 80 points for the performance appraisal. If an employee has not had a performance appraisal within six months prior to the notice of a layoff, the most recent performance appraisal may be updated.
    If two or more employees subject to the layoff have the same total points, company seniority shall be the tie breaker.

EMPLOYEE SECURITY — ARTICLE VII-B, SECTION 5(a)

  • COMPANY: Change the language of our current contract to focus the provision solely on equipment (removing the term “processes”) and shorten the time periods to implement changes after the Guild has been notified of equipment changes. Current language is six months’ notice, if possible, but no less than three months’ notice. Company’s proposed time frame is three months, if possible, but no less than one months’ notice.
  • GUILD: Keep the current language intact, except agree to the company’s proposed time frame for notice.
  • COMPANY: The company agreed to the Guild’s counter proposal.

VIVA

  • The Guild had proposed bringing Viva Colorado employees currently working on the same floor as The Denver Post newsroom under the scope of the newsroom contract.
    COMPANY: The company maintained this issue was outside the scope of the newsroom contract asserting that Viva Colorado employees are covered by the non-newsroom Guild unit.
  • GUILD: The bargaining committee agreed to the company’s assertion. It should be noted that although the editorial portions of Viva Colorado are produced on the same floor as The Denver Post newsroom, they are working for the advertising department. Any work done by Denver Post newsroom employees for Viva must be approved by Post management and appropriately charged to Viva Colorado.
  • COMPANY: The company noted a tentative agreement.

HEALTH INSURANCE

  • COMPANY: Keeping the employees’ premium share for health insurance the same — 30 percent.
  • GUILD: Guild-covered newsroom employees should pay the same premium share for health insurance as the non-newsroom unit:
    — 22 percent for employee only
    — 26 percent for employee plus child
    — 30 percent for employee plus spouse or family
  • COMPANY: No change from initial proposal.

FUNERAL LEAVE — ARTICLE XVII, SECTION 3

  • The current contract states funeral leave must be taken within seven days of a death. We had discussed the possibility of allowing employees to schedule bereavement leave farther out than a week and arrived at a tentative agreement in early May.
    COMPANY: The key clause in the company’s proposal states: In order to be eligible to take such leave the employee must notify his/her supervisor within 5 business days of the death and schedule the date the leave will begin.
  • GUILD: The committee agreed with the company’s proposed language with the addition of adding that employees will work with their supervisor to schedule time off.
  • COMPANY: The company agreed to the Guild’s proposed addition.

GUILD MEMBERSHIP

  • COMPANY: If the bargaining committees reach agreement on all company and guild issues, all newsroom employees shall be required to join the Guild.
  • GUILD: The Guild bargaining committee agreed to the company’s proposal.

TERM OF CONTRACT

  • COMPANY: An 18-month contract term.
  • GUILD: 36 months.
  • COMPANY: No change from initial proposal.

In addition to the above issues outlined by the company, the Guild made the following proposals:

WAGES

  • GUILD: Across the board wage increases, except as outlined above for YourHub:
    — 2 percent increase to take effect Jan. 1, 2013.
    — 2 percent increase to take effect Jan. 1, 2014.
    — 3 percent increase to take effect Jan. 1, 2015.
    This 7 percent total increase corresponds to the change in the Consumer Price Index from 2008 to 2011. This means our wages in 2015 would be keeping pace with inflation for the past three years, albeit three years behind.
  • COMPANY: Freeze wages at their current levels.

EQUIPMENT

  • GUILD: $75 reimbursement of cell phone and data plans for employees required to have a cell phone.
  • COMPANY: Reimbursement of up to $50 for employees required to have a cell phone. Additional data plan reimbursement may be approved on a case-by-case basis.

WORKING IN A HIGHER CLASS

  • GUILD: Employees working more than one hour in any eight-hour shift in a higher wage classification shall be paid eight hours at the higher classification. Our current contract states the employee must work four or more hours in the higher classification to be paid eight hours at the higher rate.
    If an employee works in a higher wage classification 30 percent of the time during a three month period, the employee will advance to the higher classification.
  • COMPANY: Same as current contract.

We are scheduled to meet again on July 24.

Because of the Century Aurora 16 shootings, the July 24 bargaining session was cancelled. We have not yet scheduled another date.

We are scheduled to meet again on August 21.

Thomas McKay
Sara Burnett
Kieran Nicholson
Jim Ludvik
Kyle Wagner
Kevin Hamm
Tony Mulligan

Non-newsroom Bargaining: Session 13

14 Jun

DENVER NEWSPAPER GUILD and Denver Post representatives met  May 24.

The union presented a counter-proposal concerning District Managers and Assistant District Managers including a four-day, 36-hour work week, the implementation of a time-tracking system to assure employees are paid for all hours worked and no layoffs in the department for the life of the agreement.

Management countered with a 10 percent reduction in hourly pay but no reduced hours, no time clock and a 10 cent per mile reduction in mileage reimbursement. The union then proposed to reduce pay to amounts agreed to in 2009 equaling a 7.5 percent cut for District Managers and a 6.75% cut for Assistant District Managers, a time clock, no layoffs and a 10 cent mileage reduction. The issue was set aside to be discussed at a later date.

Management responded to the union’s last proposal concerning the customer service call center. Management explained the savings the Post could achieve by outsourcing call center work to Honduras was greater than the amount estimated by the union. The union committee accepted management’s number and asked to discuss how to achieve the difference. Management then explained that they do not believe components of the union’s proposal, specifically the merger of inbound and outbound staff and functions, would work. The session ended without any resolution of the issue.

The next bargaining session has not been scheduled.

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

Newsroom Bargaining: An Update

4 Jun

I apologize for not being more timely with these updates. I have spoken with all members who have inquired about bargaining developments, but I should have posted the following updates sooner. Please feel free to contact myself or any member of the bargaining team if you have questions. And feel free to post your comments below.

— Thomas McKay


REPRESENTATIVES OF THE GUILD newsroom unit and management met May 8,  9 and 24.

The May 8 and 9 sessions were spent discussing items that had already been identified. These included the company’s topics:

  • Freezing our local pension plan.
  • Elimination of the 401(k) match.
  • Modifying layoff language to something other than straight seniority in job title.
  • Creating a performance-appraisal system.
  • The new Assistant Editor position.

Issues brought forth by the Guild included:

  • YourHub wage increases and use of YourHub staffers for The Denver Post.
  • Adding Viva Colorado staffers to the newsroom unit.
  • Guild membership as a condition of employment.
  • Allowing funeral leave to be taken later than one week after a death. Under our current contract, all funeral leave must be taken within seven days of a death.
  • Purchase and/or reimbursement of newly required equipment — primarily smart phones and data plans.
  • Paid parking for employees on the breaking news team.

A subcommittee was set up to discuss in detail a possible performance-appraisal system. Before the May 24 bargaining session, the subcommittee met twice.

Most of the May 24 bargaining session was taken up by a report from the subcommittee and subsequent discussion regarding performance appraisals.

The subcommittee met again on May 30.

We have not set a date for our next bargaining session.

Thomas McKay
Sara Burnett
Kieran Nicholson
Jim Ludvik
Kyle Wagner
Kevin Hamm
Tony Mulligan