By: Joe Strupp
Newspaper Guild members at The Boston Globe will vote June 8 on a controversial concession package that includes wage cuts and an unpaid furlough week. But there is no assurance it will pass — even with threats of closing the paper.
“People are having a really, really hard time accepting the pay cut,” said Beth Daley, a union delegate and Globe reporter. “It is still early and people are absorbing the news.”
The news is that last week guild leaders tentatively agreed to the proposal that includes an 8.3% pay cut, an end to company matches for 401(k) accounts, and five unpaid furlough days. The lost wages from the furlough are on top of the 8.3% pay cut.
The deal also includes the guild’s willingness to give up lifetime job guarantees for some 190 employees who would receive increased severance instead if they were to be laid off.
The agreement came about after The New York Times Company earlier this year threatened to sell or close the Globe if $20 million in concessions were not approved by seven unions. The six other unions have agreed to cutbacks, but not all have put them to a membership vote
“The thing that is still stopping people is they look at the pay cut and they have to pay their mortgage and for some it is not enough,” Daley said.
Even if the concessions are approved by the guild, Daley says further jobs cuts are likely: “everyone anticipates there will be layoffs afterward.”