Indy Guild members demonstrate

Nov 30, 2011 by

Negotiations between the Indianapolis Newspaper Guild and Gannett continued with a lunchtime demonstration today that saw over 100 Guild members marching outside the Indianapolis Star.  A local Fox station carried a report: http://www.fox59.com/news/wxin-indystar-rally-wednesday-indystar-workers-rally-outside-building-wednesday-20111130,0,165333.column

For the complete story, you can visit that Guild local’s website:  www.indynewsguild.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Nominations for 20th Annual Terry Hughes Award

Nov 23, 2011 by

Terry Hughes was 36 when she died of breast cancer on July 22, 1991.  A columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, her writing was clear, witty and descriptive, with a flair for portraying society’s underdogs.  Some of her columns chronicled the bouts with cancer that she and others faced.  One column was credited with helping persuade the Missouri Legislature to approve a bill forcing insurers to pay for mammograms.

 

One of the many readers who wrote to the newspaper after her death described her work this way: “Her columns were full of real life stories that touched us all and even changed our way of thinking or even our lives.”

 

The St. Louis Newspaper Guild has established a writing award in the name of Ms. Hughes.  The award is intended to honor a journalist whose writing shows the talent that she displayed.

 

Any journalist in the metropolitan St. Louis area who has written for a daily or weekly newspaper or for a magazine is eligible.  Online publications are eligible as well.

 

Single articles of extraordinary merit will be considered.  Preference will be given to entries of between three and ten articles that display the writer’s range of talent.

 

Articles must have been published in 2011.  There are no formal applications.  Anyone may submit a nomination by sending copies of articles to:

 

The Terry Hughes Award Committee

St. Louis Newspaper Guild

1015 Locust St.

Suite 735

St. Louis, Mo.  63101

 

The deadline for applications is Monday, January 9, 2012.  The award will be presented at the Newspaper Guild’s Annual Dinner in late January.

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Mediation nets contract at Labor Tribune

Nov 22, 2011 by

After nearly one year of bargaining, followed by three months of federal mediation and a strike authorization vote by Guild members, a new contract has been reached and ratified by Labor Tribune employees.

 

The contract runs three years from the date of signing and includes an increase to the pension plan, an increase in some advertising commission rates and settled several disputes that arose during the previous agreement.

 

An eleventh hour mediation session that included St. Louis Labor Council President Bob Soutier and St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council President Jeff Aboussie, achieved the breakthrough needed to push this lengthy stalemate to a successful conclusion.  Federal Mediator Max Aud also played a key role in the final agreement and the Guild is appreciative of all of their efforts.  Following the bargaining session, the new contract was unanimously accepted by the membership, all of whom were in attendance at the mediation.

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Mediation nets agreement for Pekin workers

Nov 22, 2011 by

 

 

Two Pekin Daily Times grievances appealed to arbitration were recently taken before a federal mediator (a step that was bargained into our contract with that paper) and – at least verbally – have been settled.

 

One issue concerned revenue sharing for staff photographs resold by the company and the other issue involved so-called “house accounts” in the advertising department.

 

Having the mediation step in the grievance and arbitration process allowed the parties to address these issues in a timely manner, at a lesser cost than is typical for an arbitration.  The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service provided the use of one of their mediators at their Peoria office.  Both Mary Casey and Shannon Duffy – along with Guild Sector Representative Jay Schmitz- attended.  Also there for the Guild was Pekin Unit Chair Sharon Harris and Vice Chair Amy Kamp.  Daily Times Publisher Gregg Ratliff, along with a Gatehouse attorney out of Chicago – Mike Paull – represented the paper.

 

Paull has sent a draft document to the Guild, which is currently reviewing it to ensure that it reflects the verbal understanding reached at the November 14 meeting.

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District Council Report

Nov 10, 2011 by

Midwest and Great Lakes Councils

Nov. 4-6

Erie, Pa.

 

Not all the news affecting media workers is negative.

Reports at the joint meeting of the Midwest District Council and Great Lakes Council had a few rays of sunshine, although the predominant news is of staff reductions and wage freezes and cuts.

At the Buffalo News, Guild representatives are happy over a new contract, which continues fully paid employee health care and an employee monitoring program that stresses customer improvement efforts, coaching and development rather than punitive measures.

One issue that mobilized Guild workers was an effort by the company to charge employees for parking. “Pretend” tickets were placed on all the cars, including managements’ cars, which brought the issue even more attention. The mobilizing committee played a big role, with their efforts funded by a CWA grant. At an ice cream social, those in attendance received CWA pins and coffee mugs which they proudly displayed.

The Buffalo News, which is not part of a large chain, is projected to make a $10 million profit this year.

Buffalo did see some 20 Guild employees and about 10 management leave in a buyout offer.

In Pittsburgh, at the Post-Gazette, the 175 members of the editorial only unit also are satisfied with their contract. And Guild members are touting a new digital paper, in the form of a PDF, that is distributed each afternoon to subscribers. Twelve people, all Guild members, have been hired for the digital edition.

Pittsburgh has an associate program for new hires who receive lower pay but full benefits in a position lasting up to two years.

The Guild and AFTRA in Pittsburgh put on a variety-type show that raises funds for a food bank and scholarships that is popular with the community. The Guild also is in a partnership with the newspaper in offering classes to the public taught by staff members with expertise in areas such as gardening, cooking, etc.

 

Joe Kenny

Second vice President

United Media Guild, 36047

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