What does Gannett’s recent Town Hall announcements mean to our members?

I realize that everyone is freaking out about Gannett’s recently announced “changes.”  But it’s important to remember that most of Gannett’s properties are not organized.  Those workers are ‘at-will’ workers and don’t enjoy any statutory rights (unlike union workers).  So, to our UMG sisters and brothers working at the various Gannett-owned papers, please remember that if you are covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement, any changes would first need to be negotiated with our union before they could be implemented.  And if you have voted in the union but are still in the process of negotiating your first Agreement, please understand that the Status Quo Provision applies here and, again, that means that nothing can be changed until, once more, the employer bargains over all of that with our union.

Gannett understands this distinction.  Here is the email this office received from Gannett yesterday:

  • A Voluntary Severance Offer is being made available to employees who wish to resign in exchange for severance and agree to execute a separation and release agreement.  If your location wishes to participate in the VSO, please let me know so that we may discuss it;
  • The 401(k) match is being suspended effective October 24, 2022.  It will apply to locations that have “same as” MOUs or other contract language that permits suspension.  It will not apply to Guild locations ineligible for a match, or other established Guild bargaining units until it is discussed/negotiated.  The Guild should expect that this topic will be integrated into our ongoing negotiations;
  • There will be a mandatory unpaid leave of five (5) days during the final pay period of 2022.  This will not apply to Guild locations unless it is permitted by the contract or discussed/negotiated.  It will also not apply to employees either directly impacted by Hurricane Ian, or who reside in counties that were significantly impacted, such as Lee and Collier County, FL; and
  • Employees will be offered the opportunity to work an adjusted work week of 30 hours (6 hrs per day/5 days per week) or 32 hours (8 hrs per day/4 days per week) with pro rata wage and benefit adjustments subject to business needs and management approval.  There is also an option to request a 1-6 mo. unpaid sabbatical, during which medical benefits would continue.  If your location wishes to participate in the adjusted work week and sabbatical options, we can schedule to discuss these as well.