New York Times to Offer Buyouts

Apr 12, 2001, 01:00 ET from Newspaper Guild of New York

    NEW YORK, April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was released by the
 Newspaper Guild of New York:
 
     The New York Times confirmed today what has heretofore been a possibility:
 that the company plans a reduction in staff through voluntary buyouts to
 Guild-represented employees in certain departments. The company has also
 indicated that a layoff has not been ruled out in certain areas of the
 newspaper.
     The Newspaper Guild met with Times management yesterday to discuss the
 terms of a buyout plan as set forth in the collective bargaining agreement.
     At that meeting, representatives for The Times said a voluntary buyout
 would be offered to employees on the business-side and the news-side. The
 Guild contract stipulates that all active regular (non-temporary) full or
 part-time Guild employees in the targeted areas would be eligible to receive a
 buyout offer, although The Times retains the right to reject an individual's
 buyout application. Specific departments and job classifications and the
 numbers of employees in each category have not yet been agreed upon.
     The Guild views any reduction in staff as a measure that should be taken
 only as a final resort. The Guild has taken the position that before the
 company considers either a buyout or a layoff, The Times should cease the use
 of temporary, freelance, consultants and other non-regular employees.
     Times management has said that its decision to implement a voluntary
 buyout plan is a response to a changing economic climate. The economy
 notwithstanding, the Guild is disturbed by these recent developments and the
 way in which the announcement to the staff -- made this morning over The Times
 Web-cast -- was handled. To make such an important announcement at 10 A.M.
 without first informing the Guild or a prior advisory to the staff, when half
 of The Times Guild represented employees are not at work and when at least 30
 percent of the staff still does not have Internet access, is disturbing and
 unfair to our members.
 
     Guild Contract Provides Superior Job Security
     The present contract offers superior job protections and contains a
 standing buyout negotiated by the Guild as a device to be used in an effort to
 attempt to avoid future layoffs. Under the contract, all regular fulltime and
 part-time Guild employees working at The Times as of Sept. 11, 1997 -- the
 date of ratification -- cannot be dismissed as a result of a reduction in
 staff, automation or subcontracting before March 30, 2003, when the contract
 expires. Guild employees hired after the ratification date do not have the
 same job protection.
     Attending the meeting yesterday was New York Guild President Barry Lipton;
 Secretary-Treasurer William O'Meara; Times Unit Chair Lena Williams; Local
 Representative Dona Fowler; Grievance Chair Art Mulford and Times Vice Chair
 Richard Kompa.
     In response to recent developments, the Guild has demanded another meeting
 with Times management as soon as possible to discuss the number of positions
 that will be affected, where they are, and whether The Times will attempt to
 effect any layoffs in addition to the buyout.
     Chairperson Williams said she plans to add other members to the committee
 to meet with the company about the current situation.
 
    Contact: Newspaper Guild -- Barry Lipton, 212-730-1546
 
 

SOURCE Newspaper Guild of New York
    NEW YORK, April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was released by the
 Newspaper Guild of New York:
 
     The New York Times confirmed today what has heretofore been a possibility:
 that the company plans a reduction in staff through voluntary buyouts to
 Guild-represented employees in certain departments. The company has also
 indicated that a layoff has not been ruled out in certain areas of the
 newspaper.
     The Newspaper Guild met with Times management yesterday to discuss the
 terms of a buyout plan as set forth in the collective bargaining agreement.
     At that meeting, representatives for The Times said a voluntary buyout
 would be offered to employees on the business-side and the news-side. The
 Guild contract stipulates that all active regular (non-temporary) full or
 part-time Guild employees in the targeted areas would be eligible to receive a
 buyout offer, although The Times retains the right to reject an individual's
 buyout application. Specific departments and job classifications and the
 numbers of employees in each category have not yet been agreed upon.
     The Guild views any reduction in staff as a measure that should be taken
 only as a final resort. The Guild has taken the position that before the
 company considers either a buyout or a layoff, The Times should cease the use
 of temporary, freelance, consultants and other non-regular employees.
     Times management has said that its decision to implement a voluntary
 buyout plan is a response to a changing economic climate. The economy
 notwithstanding, the Guild is disturbed by these recent developments and the
 way in which the announcement to the staff -- made this morning over The Times
 Web-cast -- was handled. To make such an important announcement at 10 A.M.
 without first informing the Guild or a prior advisory to the staff, when half
 of The Times Guild represented employees are not at work and when at least 30
 percent of the staff still does not have Internet access, is disturbing and
 unfair to our members.
 
     Guild Contract Provides Superior Job Security
     The present contract offers superior job protections and contains a
 standing buyout negotiated by the Guild as a device to be used in an effort to
 attempt to avoid future layoffs. Under the contract, all regular fulltime and
 part-time Guild employees working at The Times as of Sept. 11, 1997 -- the
 date of ratification -- cannot be dismissed as a result of a reduction in
 staff, automation or subcontracting before March 30, 2003, when the contract
 expires. Guild employees hired after the ratification date do not have the
 same job protection.
     Attending the meeting yesterday was New York Guild President Barry Lipton;
 Secretary-Treasurer William O'Meara; Times Unit Chair Lena Williams; Local
 Representative Dona Fowler; Grievance Chair Art Mulford and Times Vice Chair
 Richard Kompa.
     In response to recent developments, the Guild has demanded another meeting
 with Times management as soon as possible to discuss the number of positions
 that will be affected, where they are, and whether The Times will attempt to
 effect any layoffs in addition to the buyout.
     Chairperson Williams said she plans to add other members to the committee
 to meet with the company about the current situation.
 
    Contact: Newspaper Guild -- Barry Lipton, 212-730-1546
 
 SOURCE  Newspaper Guild of New York