Guild, 'N.Y. Times' Agree on Buyout Terms

By: Mark Fitzgerald The New York Newspaper Guild and The New York Times reached agreement on the terms of a buyout package the newspaper will offer to reduce the newsroom staff by 100, the union said Friday.

If the Times cannot cut enough newsroom positions through the buyout, involuntary layoffs would be carried out on or about Dec. 17, the Guild said it has been told by management.

In a statement posted on its Web site, the Guild said the buyout package will follow the terms of its bargaining contracts at the print newspaper and NY Times Digital. Employees will be offered three weeks pay for each year of service, up to two years pay for the longest-serving staffers. There will also be "some paid extended medical coverage," the Guild said.

The Guild said severance pay will be calculated as if the 5% pay reduction agreed last April had not gone into effect.

Employees will have to make a decision on taking the buyout by Dec. 7 -- and leave the newspaper on Dec. 9 if they are accepted. The timing is different from past buyouts, the Guild said, "because the company insisted that the buyout program, if there was to be one, had to be concluded by the end of the year."

Staffers still would have a ten-day revocation period, the Guild said.

The union said it hoped the package "will achieve most of the staff reduction" the Times wants. The newspaper has said it will resort to layoffs if 100 newsroom employees do not take the buyout. The Times is also planning to lay off an unspecified number of business-side employees.


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