The Guild and Company would like to recap the state of negotiations up to this point. As you are aware the Guild and Company are in the process of modified traditional bargaining, in which the bargaining sessions are off the record. However, the Guild and Company feel it is incumbent upon us to publicly give everyone a status update of negotiations.
The individuals on the Company’s negotiating committee are Ted Rilea, vice president of labor relations, Paul Pham, vice president of business operations, Chris De Luca, deputy managing editor of news and sports, and Meg Moore, features editor. The Guild’s committee has at least one representative from each bargaining unit in the Sun-Times Media Group. The Guild’s committee consists of David Pollard, Guild president and Pioneer Press unit chair, Craig Rosenbaum, executive director, Bruce Nelson, international representative from TNG, Judy Masterson, Guild vice president and Lake County News Sun unit chair, David Roeder, Guild Treasurer and Sun-Times vice-chair, Bob Mazzoni, Sun-Times unit chair, Dave Roknic, Sun-Times unit chair, Teresa Schultz, Post Tribune unit chair, and Bob Okon, Joliet Herald News unit chair.
In addition to the primary committee, there are also two subcommittees at this time. One subcommittee is exploring merging the non-economic provisions of the five contracts into one contract. Ted Rilea, Meg Moore and the Sun-Times’ outside counsel, Kristin Michaels, participate for the Company on this committee. David Pollard, Craig Rosenbaum, Darel Jevens (Sun-Times) and Mark Lawton (Pioneer Press) participate on this committee for the Guild. The other active subcommittee is the minority affairs hiring and recruiting committee. Ted Rilea and Sun-Times Editor Chief, Jim Kirk, represent the Company. David Pollard, Craig Rosenbaum, Rumanna Hussain (Sun-Times), Jeff Britt (Sun-Times) and Jean Edwards (Herald News) represent the Guild on this committee.
The Guild and company negotiating committees met for four hours on August 22 and for six hour sessions on September 10, 19 and 27, and October 10 and 22. So far the parties have agreed in principle to place Guild-covered employees at Pioneer Press and the News Sun on a calendar year schedule for vacation just like the other units.
The parties have also discussed the following issues:
- Discussion included the possibility of a residency program for journalists out of school or with limited experience. The Guild has indicated its interest in making the residency program one for minority journalists.
- Discussion over which current supervisors, managers, and editorial writers should continue to be exempt or covered by the Guild contract.
- The Guild has an issue with the use of free-lancers. The Guild would like the Company to explore the possibility of consolidating free lance work into full-time or part-time positions.
- Discussion regarding the Guild’s issue over the manner of how prospective layoffs are handled and the Guild’s interest in returning seniority as a criteria for layoffs and increasing severance for laid off employees.
The non-economic minority recruitment sub-committees are continuing to meet. Both the Company and the Guild have the objective of increasing the number of minorities and women in the Guild and in exempt positions. The parties are discussing tangible ways of making this happen. This sub-committee is scheduled to meet on Friday, November 2 and Saturday, November 10.
The core economics such as wages, health care and retirement benefits have not been discussed but will be on the agenda in the near future. The next negotiating session is scheduled for Thursday, November 8.
The parties have also agreed to meet during the following dates for six hour sessions from 9:30 to 3:30:
Tuesday, November 13
Tuesday, November 27
Monday, December 3
Sun-Times Media Group and Chicago Newspaper Guild Bargaining Committees