Sun-Times Negotiation Update

The Guild met with the Sun-Times Media Group on Thursday, November 8. The parties discussed the Guild’s interest in Pioneer Press becoming a union shop. The parties also reached a tentative agreement on a common grievance and arbitration procedure for the Sun-Times, Pioneer Press, Post-Tribune, Herald News and News Sun. The parties next negotiation is scheduled for Tuesday, November 13. This tentative agreement is subject to the ratification of the membership. Click to read the Grievance Procedure Agreement.


Settlement of Disputes

Section 1. In an effort to establish a better working relationship between the parties and in the interest of increased cooperation between the Guild and the Employer, it is agreed that the parties will establish a Standing Committee consisting of an equal number of Employer and Guild representatives at each Guild represented property (not to exceed eight (8) in number) to meet at regular intervals to discuss matters arising from the application of this Agreement or affecting the relations of the Employees and the Employer. It is understood that the membership of the committee may change from time to time.

It is agreed by the parties that all discussions at the Standing Committee meetings shall be considered off the record to the extent that statements made at such meetings shall not be introduced as evidence in any arbitration, administrative or court proceeding except upon mutual agreement of the parties. It is further agreed that the purpose of this committee is to develop a positive forum for communications, and that to achieve that end both parties agree in the spirit of good faith to exercise discretion in discussing or reporting the subject matter of the meeting thereafter. Every effort will be made to keep such reports free from inflammatory partisan commentary.

Any grievance initiated by either party shall first may be referred to this Committee for discussion concerning resolution of the dispute within thirty (30) days after the aggrieved party knows of the occurrence of the acts or actions which consist the basis for the grievance. A new employee wishing to initiate a grievance concerning acts or actions of the Employer other than a dismissal during his/her probationary period must initiate such grievance no later than ten (10) days following the end of his/her probationary period.

The parties agree the The Standing Committee will meet, if at all possible, within two (2) days after a grievance has been referred to it. The Standing Committee shall make an earnest effort to resolve the dispute but if, after ten (10) days, it is apparent that further discussion will be of no avail, the matter may be processed through the contractual grievance procedure set forth below in accordance with the established practice of the parties.

Section 2. The Guild shall designate a Grievance Committee of its own choosing to take up with the Employer or its authorized agent any matter arising from the application of this Agreement or affecting the relations of the Employees and the Employer which are not resolved by the Standing Committee referred to above. The Employer agrees to meet with the committee within five days after a request for such a meeting.

Section 3. Any matter arising from the application of this Agreement or affecting the relations of the Employees and the Employer (except renewal of any term or terms of this contract) not settled within thirty (30) days of the receipt of the formal response of the Employer may be submitted to final and binding arbitration by the aggrieved party. Said matter shall be submitted to the American Arbitration Association fur arbitration  Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service according to its rules and the party submitting for arbitration shall request a panel of seven arbitrators from the National Academy of Arbitrators. Each party shall have the right to strike one panel of arbitrators. The costs of such arbitration shall be borne equally by the parties, except neither party shall be obligated to pay any part of the cost of a stenographic transcript without express consent. If the matter is not referred to arbitration within forty-five (45) days of the formal response of the Employer, unless such time period is mutually extended, the matter shall be considered settled.

Section 4. Should the Employer fail to provide information necessary for the processing of a grievance requested in writing by the Guild to which the Guild is legally entitled under the National Labor Relations Act, the time limits specified in Section 3 above shall begin running only upon receipt of the information by the Guild.

Section 5. In the event of any controversy arising as to the interpretations of this Agreement, the conditions prevailing immediately prior to the conditions causing the dispute shall be maintained until the controversy has been disposed of as provided above.


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