Bargaining & Settlements – Bytes & bits: Philadelphia

Philadelphia Contract

Just a week after rejecting the Philadelphia Media Network’s “final” contract offer by a vote of more than 2 to 1, in April members of the Philadelphia Newspaper Guild approved a revised proposal resulting in a three-year contract.

The revised contract averted an imminent health care funding crisis that could have increased employees’ cost for coverage by as much as $200 per week.

But management insisted on changes to seniority rules when layoffs occur — the primary reason members rejected management’s initial “final” offer, which also failed to resolve the funding crisis for the health and welfare plans.

To discourage management from laying off employees out of seniority, the union eventually negotiated double severance for affected workers.

The contract provides no raises, but it includes a $1,000 signing bonus. The agreement also merges the Inquirer and the Daily News contract with the Memorandum of Agreement that covers employees in the bargaining unit at into a single collective bargaining agreement.