A recent Post-Dispatch layoff included three Guild members in advertising-related jobs. This layoff did not extend to the newsroom, but the Guild had informal discussions with the company about potential severance buyouts for veteran journalists.
If fact, the company encouraged journalists interested in leaving to contact management within a two-week period. Several of our members expressed interest.
But then the company told our members that no buyouts would be offered. Post-Dispatch publisher Ray Farris issued this statement to employees Thursday:
“Addressing any uncertainty, we currently have no plans for newsroom staff reductions or buyout offers. I appreciate your continuous hard work and dedication to our print and digital products.”
Guild business representative Shannon Duffy, Post-Dispatch unit chair Joe Holleman, UMG president Jeff Gordon and UMG vice president David Carson met with company officials after that surprising announcement.
We encouraged the company to reconsider its position on voluntary buyouts for Guild members, particularly with bargaining for a new collective bargaining agreement set to begin in a few months.
We believe our long-time journalists have earned the buyout consideration through decades of service. We also believe the Post-Dispatch would benefit by gaining long-range cost reduction and staffing flexibility.