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Gannett and IndyStar are holding journalists’ pay raises hostage

Gannett and Indianapolis Star management should contribute as much to Guild members’ health care as Gannett does for everyone else.

It’s a fair and simple expectation. Gannett disagrees.

Gannett’s failure to treat its employees with dignity has prevented the Indianapolis Newspaper Guild from signing a bad contract that sticks our members with a terrible deal and higher health care costs.

But it gets worse.

Rather than come to the table with a reasonable proposal, Gannett and Star management this week said they will withhold merit pay increases until a contract is signed. 

Long gone are the days when hard-working Star journalists could expect simple cost-of-living pay increases. Now Gannett is even holding merit pay increases hostage.

Are raises supposed to reward good journalism and hard work? Or are they merely a tool for corporate management to coerce and bully journalists who are toiling in the trenches?

Even as Gannett and Star management stoop to this bullying tactic, CEO Bob Dickey has witnessed pretty comfortable pay increases: $42,000 last year and $100,000 the year before. (In addition to his stock options, of course.)

If you’re sitting outside the newsroom, this news might have your head spinning.

That’s because IndyStar journalists have earned several accolades in the last year. Internally, Dickey bestowed the Star newsroom with an annual award just this month. Star editor Ronnie Ramos even applauded the newsroom for continuing its rich tradition of excellence. 

But that shouldn’t matter. Fairness and righteousness should matter. 

Gannett should cease this act of nonsense and begin treating its Indianapolis journalists with the respect they deserve.

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