Gannett proposal would take away sick days — during a pandemic

The Indianapolis News Guild wants paid time off protected, especially during COVID-19

Since last March, journalists of the Indianapolis News Guild have dutifully covered a pandemic that has changed all of our lives. That’s why those same local journalists found it ironic when Gannett recently proposed a change to our paid time off plan that would eliminate dedicated sick days.

This proposal would take away more than a week of paid time off from some members. While Gannett looks to remove sick days, it has already furloughed workers and stopped 401(k) matches. Meanwhile, other news organizations are helping their journalists during the pandemic with increased benefits, such as additional days off and bonuses.

“IndyStar journalists have been working so hard to keep our communities informed during this public health crisis,” Indy News Guild President Natalia Contreras said. “But Gannett keeps coming after its workers.”

Member Tony Cook has seen what happens when sick days go away.

“I previously worked at another news outlet that cut sick days,” Cook said. “I had to work despite an extended illness. I don’t want that to happen here. Not during a pandemic.”

Cook said parenting during a pandemic is already a challenge — and having less PTO will only make it harder.

The Guild supports a paid time off policy that protects local journalists’ well-earned time off, including sick days.

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For more information:

Natalia Contreras, president, Indianapolis News Guild
indynewsguild70@gmail.com, 361-695-1553

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