By: Joe Strupp
As many as 44 employees of the Ann Arbor (Mich.) News and the Ann Arbor Business Review could take buyouts under an offer put forth this week by those publications, which are owned by Advance Publications.
The News reported that a buyout offer had been made to those workers who are among 260 full-time staffers at the two publications.
Publisher Laurel Champion said the buyouts were strictly voluntary and were “sparked by the state’s weak economy,” the paper revealed. “We always are looking for ways to work smarter, to increase efficiency and to control costs and expenses,” she said. “We’re determined to make sure The Ann Arbor News remains strong and produces the high-quality newspaper that we publish every day. It’s essential that we provide quality service to our readers and to our advertisers. Of course, we must be flexible and look for new ideas for how we should operate. Above all, we must promote efficiency and cut costs.”
Two offers were put forth to employees, the paper said. The first option, for full-timers who are 50 years of age or older and have 20 years of service, provides two weeks’ pay for every year of service and lifetime paid medical benefits. The second offer, for full-timers with 10 to 19 years of service, gives two weeks’ pay for every year of service and medical benefits to age 65.
Most of the eligible employees have at least 20 years of service, the News reported. Staffers have until March 23 to accept the offer and those who accept it will have to leave the company within one year.