News from Pioneer Press

Dear Unit Members,

Just a quick reminder of what you should do and what management should NOT do regarding the taking of furlough days.

Per our Memorandum of Understanding with the company we are required to schedule all of our furlough days by Dec. 31. So work with your News Provider to accomplish this.

But under NO circumstance can a News Provider assign what days you should take your furlough days on, force you to take your furlough days, put undue pressure on you as to when you should take your furlough days or threaten you with some kind of reprimand if you will not take your furlough days when a News Producer wants you to.

If you believe that this is taking place don’t hesistate to contact me, a union steward or our executive director Craig Rosenbaum. If you are given some type of formal written reprimand from management regarding this, contact one of us immediately so that we can take action on it.


David Pollard
Unit Chair
President of Chicago Newspaper Guild


9/12/12:  Reporters, photographers and other members of the Pioneer Editorial Unit are dealing with unprecedented changes under the management of Publisher Chris Krug and his new Executive Editor Jason Schaumburg.

Over the past several months, Krug imposed largely inflexible rules and expectations on story type, length and format, favoring brevity and graphics over the more thorough coverage that had been a Pioneer tradition. He mandated new and time-consuming assignments for photographers, and appeared to increase the use of stringers to handle stories that were once covered by unit members. In the weeks leading to an August redesign of the papers, he required reporters — previously freed under earlier management to report from the field or their homes as geographically efficient — to work primarily from Pioneer offices.

Krug also eliminated the position of community managing editor,  requiring MEs to apply instead for the new position of News Producer. Some chose not to, and most others were not rehired; younger, less experienced people took their places. Reports from previous MEs indicate that the new NP position pays less. The News Producer decision, and the creation of a new level of Managing Editors for news, sports, features, photo and production, have directly and indirectly impacted unit members. All the changes mean members’ stress and workload have skyrocketed while morale has plummeted.

Unit leadership and management plan a September 14 labor-management meeting to address the problems.

The Guild has also filed a grievance over Pioneer Press’s non compliance of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which requires Pioneer Press to “purchase, repair, replace” and provide “insurance and digital upgrades to all digital photo equipment.”