Romenesko has posted the latest letter from the Boston Newspaper Guild to its members, ahead of Monday’s vote on pay reductions at the Boston Globe.
And Globe publisher Steve Ainsley has sent the following message to Globe employees:
Many questions have been raised about the proposed Guild contract. In a Q&A last week we answered questions about the contract’s components. Today we are issuing another Q&A that addresses some broader issues….
Allow me to speak to just a few of those issues.
I understand there is a petition being circulated by Guild members asking me, on behalf of the Globe, to consider a new contract proposal. While I appreciate the concern about proposed deep reductions to compensation and the desire to revisit specific contract components before the June 8th vote, the Globe may lawfully negotiate only with the Guild as the exclusive representative of the collective bargaining unit.
Further, even if the Guild were to present a new proposal, we do not have time to reopen negotiations and begin the bargaining process again. Any new agreement would be subject to a bargaining process and a vote on any new proposal would come only after another 30-day wait following its presentation to Guild membership. Our financial situation is too urgent and further delays to resolution are not an option.
I also feel I need re-emphasize points that we have consistently made clear to Guild leadership.
It is essential and non-negotiable that we achieve $10 million in cost savings from the Guild. We approached all our unions with similarly firm goals and we handled all of our negotiations equitably. Five of these contracts have been ratified. Most important, the implementation of the new agreements with other unions is conditioned on achieving the $10 million in savings from the Guild.
As we negotiated with the Guild’s bargaining team, the objective always has been to find a way to secure $10 million in savings while causing the least possible hardship on employees. Both sides realized that there were no simple or painless choices.
These decisions affect our personal lives as well as our careers. The process of making deep cuts in an organization inevitably invites division and disruption. But let’s remember how remarkable a job we’ve done pulling together and making it through these many months of economic trouble, excelling in delivering our readers high-quality journalism.
We share a passion for The Boston Globe and Boston.com. We will see better days.