The Guild held three bargaining sessions with representatives of the company over the last few weeks and the talks overall have gone well. Both sides remain respectful, open to discussion and have worked hard toward forging a deal.
In fact, at the end of Wednesday’s session, we had reached tentative agreement on 22 provisions for the new contract. Many of these are side issues. The really big questions have been discussed but much work remains.
Still, the speed with which we resolved these secondary matters was encouraging. Many of the tentative agreements carry forward language from our last contract. Some are tentative agreements both sides reached during talks in the 1990s that failed to result in a new contract. But some of these provisions are made up primarily of new language proposed by the Guild.
Here is a summary of what’s been agree to so far. Keep in mind that this is a summary and not the exact language of the agreements. If you want more information or you’d like to see the actual language, email any Guild officer (our email addresses can be found atdaytonguild.org).
So far we’ve agreed that:
–New language says the company will furnish equipment, utensils, material and work space necessary to perform Company work, as determined necessary by supervisors.
–When employees are traveling to assignments, that travel time is considered on the clock.
–Employees cannot duplicate overtime or holiday pay. They are forbidden from being paid overtime or holiday pay more than once for the same hours worked.
–The company has the right to select for overtime those employees it feels are competent to do the work whenever it deems such overtime is necessary.
–Employees will work overtime when asked except in reasonable circumstances but no overtime can be worked unless it is authorized by the company in advance.
–The bylines or credit lines of employees cannot be used over their protest.
–Employees cannot be disciplined for seeking enforcement of the contract.
–The Guild has the right to use bulletin boards and company email for communications as long as it does not disrupt company operations. Company negotiators clarified that by disruption it means large emails (such as streaming video) that interfere with the email system.
–Performance reviews will be given to all employees at least once a year and employees can request additional evaluations if their supervisors agree.
–The probation period for new employees will be 90 days and can be extended an additional 90 days by mutual consent of the company and employee. The Guild is notified of extensions. Seniority rights begin on the date of hire but are not in effect until after the employee successfully completes probation.
–Employees cannot be dismissed for any reasons other than just cause. Disciplinary actions are subject to the grievance procedure.
–The Company shall post all job vacancies for five working days. Employees of the Company will be given consideration for job openings.
–The Company must give the Guild two months notice before a reduction in force. The Guild is allowed at least two weeks to negotiate on behalf of employees facing layoff to either find a different position or to develop a severance package.
–In the event of a reduction in force, temporary employees would be laid off before permanent employees.
–Leaves of absence without pay for personal reasons are permitted at the Company’s sole discretion after a written request. Leaves may be extended or renewed with the company’s approval. Employees returning from leave will be reinstated at the rate of pay, plus contract increases during the leave, held by the employee before the leave of absence.
–The Company will consider sabbatical requests on an individual basis. The Managing Editor is the sole judge of granting sabbatical leave and granting reimbursed expenses and salary.
–Should federal or state law conflicts with any provision of the contract, the provision will no longer be in effect or binding but the rest of the agreement continues in full force and effect.
–Both sides agree to negotiates changes to replace such provisions.
–Both sides agree to continue their policy on nondiscrimination against any employee because of race, creed, religion, color, gender, age, sexual orientation, political affiliation or national origin, in regard to employment, advancement or acceptance into Guild membership.
–The company agrees not to lock out any of the Guild employees during the contract term.
–There can be no strikes, sympathy strikes, wildcat strikes, sitdowns, slow-downs or work stoppages during the term of the agreement by the Guild or by the employees.