Globe union asks members: what should we give up?

DQM was just forwarded a copy of a survey the Boston Newspaper Guild sent to its membership, apparently today, seeking employee thoughts on how to proceed in negotiations.

I've pasted the survey below; apologies in advance for any formatting funkiness. Note that respondents are given the possibility of linking wage concessions to similar concessions by management, which strikes me as eminently reasonable, given the fat, non-outcome-driven compensation that top execs at the Times Co. and the Globe have been receiving.

The Guild and Times Co. management sit down tomorrow, so unless the Guild's members respond ASAP and their responses are tallied equally quickly, whatever impact the survey has probably won't be clear for a few days.


4/13/2009 Membership Survey 

Please return via email to by Friday, April 17, 2009.


Name / Dept. (required to verify union affiliation)

Please check what best describes your feeling on each of the following issues.

1.  Reduce all wage rates:

5% Nonstarter ______   If Mgmt does ______    Negotiable _______

10% Nonstarter ______   If Mgmt does ______    Negotiable _______

15% Nonstarter ______   If Mgmt does ______     Negotiable _______

20% Nonstarter ______   If Mgmt does ______     Negotiable _______

25% Nonstarter ______   If Mgmt does ______    Negotiable _______ 

2.  Reduce the Healthcare contributions by $1.5 million (could be add’l $55-$100 wkly)

      Nonstarter ______   If Mgmt does ______     Negotiable _______ 

3.  Eliminate the per shift contribution to the health fund (could be add’l $12-$20 wkly)

      Nonstarter ______   Negotiable _______ 

4.  Terminate company paid retiree health insurance for future retirees

      Nonstarter ______   If Mgmt does ______    Negotiable _______ 

5.  Freeze the current pension plan and eliminate all future contributions.

      Nonstarter ______   If Mgmt does ______     Negotiable _______ 

6.  Eliminate its payments to the 401(k) and (a) programs.

      Nonstarter ______   If Mgmt does ______  Negotiable _______ 

7.  Modify LTD benefits to align with NYT Co. benefit plan.

      Nonstarter ______    Negotiable _______ 

8.  Elimination of the parties’ Job Guarantee provisions and list.

      Nonstarter ______     Negotiable _______

9. Eliminate seniority as the major factor in determining layoffs.

      Nonstarter ______     Negotiable _______ 

10.  Implement one time reduction in force without regard to seniority (including employees currently covered by the job guarantee)

      Nonstarter ______    Negotiable _______ 

11.  Eliminate the prohibition against changing the shift of an employee who has 15 or more years of service.

      Nonstarter ______    Negotiable _______

12.  Lengthen the years of service needed for respective vacation weeks

      Nonstarter ______   If Mgmt does ______     Negotiable _______ 

13.  Eliminate the 15 single sick days.

Nonstarter ______   If Mgmt does ______    Negotiable _______ 

14. Reduce lay off benefits to 1 week for every year of service with a cap of 26 weeks

      Nonstarter ______    Negotiable _______ 

15.  Eliminate the 3rd week of severance pay for employees laid off out of seniority order and from outsourcing/new technology.

      Nonstarter ______    Negotiable _______ 

16.  Elimination of notice period for lay off (currently 30 days or 4 weeks pay)

      Nonstarter ______    Negotiable _______ 

17.  Expand the work day to 8 hours (40 hour work week).

      Nonstarter ______    Negotiable _______ 

Comments/alternative suggestions:


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