Contract is signed, copies to be distributed next week

Star Publisher Michael Kane and I signed the two-year contract this morning together in the fourth-floor board room, making the deal official. The company and Guild will split the cost of making 500 copies, which will be distributed early next week. The Guild is also putting together a “primer” or guide, so to speak, to address the changes to work conditions. Later, we’ll have a new printed Inkling that outlines our strategies for now through 2011. Also, we’ll be distributing new red triangle-shaped “desk tents” that read “Work the contract” on one side, and “10%: I Gave At The Office” on the other.

Michael met with me for nearly an hour as part of the signing. I reiterated to him that the staff is demoralized and divided over the 10% pay cut. I emphasized the Guild’s financial sacrifice. I asked that our unit be spared any additional impact should Gannett seek to get leaner or try and lower payrolls chain-wide now through 2011. And, I requested some type of staff-wide acknowledgment over our contributions — saving the Star $2 million, namely — that he agreed to consider. I didn’t receive all the answers I was hoping for, but he was courteous enough to listen to my questions. Send any thoughts or questions you have to me at

Lastly, online producer Adam Yates, a steward who joined the bargaining committee earlier this year and was appointed secretary on the panel, will serve in that role on an interim basis until our next advertised meeting. He will be appointed to finish a term running through July 1, 2010. Congrats, Adam!

For Indy News Guild 34070 and the bargaining committee,

Tom Spalding


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Filed under 2009 Contract Negotiations

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