Totten by the numbers

Readers of this blog know I've been alternately critical of and sympathetic to Dan Totten--the head of the Boston Newspaper Guild, the sole remaining holdout in negotiations with Globe management and the NYT Co.

Given my own inconsistency, I'm not quite ready to say that today's Herald story proves that Totten is a leech who's been using his post to enrich himself. What I will say, though, is that--given the longstanding friction within the Guild, both between newsroom and non-newsroom employees and younger and older Guild members--the news that Totten's salary has grown while the salaries of his members have stayed stagnant probably won't be helpful, particularly as the Times Co. plays rough in newly resumed negotations and the Guild's leadership tries to preserve internal unity.

Just one more thing. I've seen the filings that contain the data used by Herald reporter Jessica Heslam. And I wonder why Helsam didn't take note of the massive disbursement amount--$26,311, to be precise--that Totten received in 2007, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. That's a whole lot of cash, especially when you're pulling in a salary of just under $98,000.

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