Although we have ratified a contract, which will be signed Monday, we are trying to mount an effort to publicize our recent union vote. Toward that end, a handful of Guild members will distribute three handouts on Friday morning to an audience of 600 journalists in town for SPJ at the Westin. An image of the three are attached. We are trying to show Gannett that it might have been able to force this bad contract on us, with its 10% pay cut, but all our members are angry about it — including the journalists who are appearing as speakers at the convention this weekend on behalf of the Indianapolis Star.
We are jazzed up about journalism too and want to let everyone know in a positive way the sacrifice made by Guild members. The flyers convey our spirit and resolve — one of the flyers, in fact, lists our numerous winners of coveted journalism prizes — including SPJ’s! — and there’s no better group to tell our story. We hope to provide flyers to Virgil Smith, vice president/talent management, Gannett Company, Inc., who is at the SPJ convention to speak at a career counseling panel.
We have chosen to take a big-picture, long-term view of things and recognize that the preparation for the next round of bargaining starts now, not in 2011. Over the next two years, we want to continually remind management here at the Star and at Gannett that we expect a better contract next time.
We want management to know that we are expecting to recover the lost pay and lost pay increases in our next contract when the economy improves. We want to remind management we are not happy about only union-represented employees being asked to take huge pay cuts. We need to remind them every day that our members are going to work the contract.
— The officers and stewards of Indy News Guild 34070
P.S.: Some good news: With respect to our inquiry regarding health benefits (in Wednesday’s e-Inkling), we have been told by HR that when an employee has a change in salary that puts them in a different salary band, the change will update automatically with YBR. Once internal paperwork has been submitted reflecting the pay change, a letter is generated by YBR to the employee notifying them of the reduced premium.
P.S.S: Some other (possible) good news. Although we did drop the arbitration over the “December 7,” the company has told us that, if and when the Star begins hiring Guild-covered positions again, they will first reach out to those that were let go in 2008. You know why? Because it’s in the contract.