Retroactive Pay Included In Globe Contract p.30

By: Stacy Jones TWO YEARS AND three months after the expiration of their last contract, the Boston Globe Employees Association, Local 245 of the Newspaper Guild, ratified a new three-year contract covering 1995, 1996 and 1997.
The BGEA and the Boston Globe had been operating under management-imposed final offer conditions since July 1995.
In a vote of 559 to 94, the 1,100-member union counted among its gains such first-time benefits as health insurance for part-time workers and for spousal equivalents ? including same-sex unions, and a comprehensive dental plan for full- and part-time employees.
Robert A. Jordan, BGEA/TNG Local 245 president, said it was evident from the beginning that the union was "in for a battle."
With the ratification comes retroactive pay for union members. The pay will cover the period before the management-imposed final offer went into effect, about six months in 1995 with a 3.06% wage increase, and about one month for the 1997 increase of 2.4%. A 2.7% increase was received in 1996.
Other contract highlights are: a company match of 1% of an employee's salary for the 401(k) savings plan; the creation of a 401(a) plan for full- and part-time employees with an employer contribution of 1% of an employee's gross salary; an agreement with the non-union Globe subsidiary, Boston Globe Electronic Publishing, to provide assignments for Globe union workers at union wages; a 10-year wage guarantee for full- and part-time Inside Salespersons; a number of one-time $1,500 bonus payments for pagination training of certain editorial employees.
Management gains include the restructuring of the Inside Classified Sales Department, where new employees will be hired at lower wages than present salespersons, but will receive a higher commission. Also, the union agreed to eliminate a resignation bonus provision for all new employees and to freeze that service provision for all present employees. It also complied with the subcontracting out of payroll and accounts payable duties to a centralized service in Norfolk, Va.
Said Gregory L. Thornton, Globe vice president of employee relations, "Both parties worked very hard on this contract and each clearly achieved what they needed."
While ratification is a relief to both sides, the process will repeat itself soon, probably in late summer, said Jordan, as the BGEA and the Globe begin negotiations on the next contract. The recently approved contract expires on Dec. 31, 1997. Nevertheless, looking at the outcome, Jordan considers the time well spent.
"I look where we were a year ago. I don't mind it taking a long time to get a good contract.
"Now," he said. "When we start negotiating for the next contract, we'll start from a better position."
Web Site: http://www.mediainfo. com.
copyright: Editor & Publisher - April 19, 1997


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