General Membership Meeting, Wednesday, February 19

The winter General Membership meeting for TNG/CWA Local 37082 will be held Wednesday, February 19 at the the Guild office in Belltown. All members in good standing are eligible to participate and are urged to attend. WHERE: 2122 Third Avenue, Seattle

WHEN: 6:30 p.m.

A key agenda item for the meeting will be consideration of the new "wellness" plan recently unveiled at the Seattle Times. At the meeting, we will review feedback received on the member survey and discuss our response to the company.

Any member in good standing wishing to propose additional agenda items may do so by calling the Guild office at 206-328-1190 or sending an email to Administrative Officer Darryl Sclater at ao37082@gmail.com

Posted on February 17, 2014 and filed under MEETINGS.

Harshing Denver's Superbowl Mellow

So this year's Superbowl just happens to be a meeting between teams from the only two states that have legalized recreational marijuana use. Cause and effect? Mere chronological coincidence? Who can say? No doubt the question will long be pondered and debated over many a contemplatively toked fatty.

But if the interconnections remain elusive between the mutual decision of Washington and Colorado to free the weed and the impending showdown between the Seahawks and the Broncos, one thing is abundantly clear: the influx of friendly local shwagmarts and ganjaterias into Denver has obviously led to some serious local overindulgence. Are they handing out free samples down there? Because based on what we've seen being posted online by our colleagues at the Denver Guild somebody has definitely been venturing a bowl or three too far lately, on what looks like a fairly regular basis. In fact, if we were not familiar with the wholly mythical character of amiable Mary Jane's unfair reputation as a gateway drug (and because we'd blush to suggest such a thing about our fellow Guild members) we'd be tempted to think that everyone in Denver had rushed headlong straight from the bong to the crack pipe.

A closer examination of the Denver Guild's post (and in particular its accompanying artwork) does indeed lay any hard-drug fears to rest. A giant magical prancing blue horsey. Massive lightning bolts pounding down on some kind of Lord-of-the-Rings-knockoff landscape. Trippy mirror images lurking in a reflecting pool. Yes, everything here points to the hazy, slow-mo, like-wow-man visions of a myth-fixated stoner. And when you consider that the post itself is written as a kind of blissful daydream of an imaginary future in which the Broncos have somehow won the Superbowl ("It was all so REAL, man! It was like I could actually SEE it!") the conclusion just becomes that much more clear. No doubt even at this moment the Denver Guild office is a dim cave fogged with pot fumes, the windows blocked with batik prints, sitar music plonking in the background, empty Dorito bags crunching underfoot, where the inhabitants drift about muttering to themselves: "Peyton. Broncos. Yeah! Man, that was a great game we played!"

Regrettably, I'm afraid we're going to have pop that bubble. To which end, we'll just offer our Denver brothers and sisters this quote from the Book of R. Sherman, Chapter 1, Verse 1: "Ain't. Gonna. Happen." Or as it's alternatively translated in the ESPN Revised International Version: "Don't you think you can throw in here!" While all of us have enjoyed watching Peyton Manning rehabilitate his career tearing into one puff-pastry AFC defense after another (sorry, I forgot I shouldn't use food metaphors with someone in your condition) I'm afraid he's going to find the cookie crumbles a bit differently against the Hawks (darn, did it again). And just in case you think we're just about defense, or we talk too much, I'll turn the mic over to the Prophet Marshawn, who makes a point of saying this: "..." and of doing this.

Think of it as an intervention. You guys are going to have to come back to earth some time. Because, dudes (if we may speak to you in your own language) as fellow hemp-promoting, spliff-rolling, blunt-passing, brownie-baking, medical-necessitating Liberators of the Good Herb, we have to say you guys are seriously messing with our hard-won legitimation of the chronic, man! You're going to mess it up for EVERYBODY by sitting around and talking crazy like you are. So, ENOUGH, man. But we won't expect you to go cold turkey when the hard light of reality breaks in on Sunday afternoon. Take a couple of weeks to ease out. Cushion the blow. Let the sting dissolve. We'll even care-package over some Frito-Lay Mixed Jumbo Combopaks and Taco Bell gift cards to help you through. Peace out.

Posted on January 31, 2014 and filed under SPORTS.

New 2013-2017 Yakima Herald-Republic Contract Approved

The new 2013-2017 Yakima Herald-Republic Guild contract was approved in a ballot vote yesterday evening at the Herald-Republic. The proposal passed by a clear majority of the ballots cast. It has been a long-standing Pacific NW Guild practice not to publish the numbers relating to internal votes. However, any member in good standing who wants more detail on the vote can contact the Guild office at 206-328-1190. Any member in good standing can also examine the ballots and voting materials at the Guild office upon request.

Thank you to everyone who voted. Thank you also to everyone who filled out the issues survey and provided other input to the bargaining team. Your critical comments and positive suggestions were vitally important in directing our talks with the company. Regardless of whether or not you were satisfied with the final agreement, your voice and contribution were essential to any improvements and positive additions we gained in the final version. Your support and help as part of the union is very much appreciated by your bargaining team.

Guild 2013-2017 YHR Bargaining Team

Marcus Michelson (News, YHR Unit Chair) Mai Hoang (News) Darryl Sclater (PNW Guild Local Administrative Officer)

To submit a question or comment, or if you have a work-related issue, please email Administrative Officer Darryl Sclater at ao37082@gmail.com or call the Guild office at 206-328-1190.

Posted on January 9, 2014 and filed under YAKIMA, BARGAINING.

Yakima Herald-Republic Bargaining Bulletin #3

On Saturday, your Guild bargaining team and company representatives reached a tentative agreement on a new Guild contract at the Herald-Republic. The term of the contract is for four years, running from October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2017. The bargaining team was disappointed that the company would only agree to wage increases in the last two years of the contract, and these increases are quite small. However, we regard it as positive that the company agreed to withdraw its proposal to increase the employee-paid share of health insurance premiums. The current share will not change, and is secured for the duration of the contract. The company also withdrew its proposal to remove circulation District Managers from the bargaining unit, so that they would no longer be covered by the contract. While the new proposed contract has only limited wage improvements, it also contains no major concessions or take-backs of existing pay and benefits. On balance, we believe it is a net positive agreement that will provide sustained security for Herald-Republic members over the next four years. We are recommending the agreement for approval. The following is a summary of the key elements of the new agreement:

WAGES

The current pay scales will remain frozen this year and next year. Effective October 1, 2015, all wages and scales will increase by 0.5% across the board; effective October 1, 2016, wages and scales will increase by 1% across the board.

The current series of experience steps in each job classification will remain in place. Anyone who has been recently hired in any job classification and is not at the top step will continue to receive the appropriate step increase on their employment anniversary.

HEALTH INSURANCE

There will be no change in the current premium split for the term of the agreement. Employees will continue to pay 25% of the premium cost for their own insurance, and 35% of the cost for coverage of dependents.

SAFETY & ERGONOMICS

The company agreed to add a new section to the contract, providing a clear commitment to workplace health and safety, including ergonomic evaluation of work stations and equipment.

RECOGNITION & JURISDICTION

There will be no changes. Everyone currently covered by the contract will continue to be covered, including circulation District Managers.

COMMISSION SALES PLANS

We agreed to update the agreement covering commission sales plans, to provide for a specific set of tiered rates, as opposed to a single rate covering all products and sales.

VACATION

The annual seniority-based vacation selection period will be shortened by two weeks. Instead of running from January 1 through March 31, it will run from January 1 through March 15, so that employees wanting to use vacation in April and May will have a bit more time to usefully make plans.

Also, employees providing less than two weeks notice when they voluntarily resign or quit will risk losing a proportional amount of accrued vacation time, which would otherwise be cashed out in a lump sum. For example, if an employee gave only a week's notice, he or she could be charged one week of vacation. If the employee gave no notice, he or she could lose a full two weeks of accrued vacation. The company's stated goal was to encourage individuals to always give at least two weeks notice, and had originally proposed that employees lose all accrued vacation time if they did not do so. This seemed excessive, and we agreed on a smaller penalty that was proportional to the amount of notice actually provided.

FURLOUGH OPTION

The company requested an option to require a limited amount of furlough during the term of the agreement. (They emphasized that this was only an option, to be triggered only if necessary, and that there was no current plan or desire on the part of the company to impose any furlough.) We agreed to allow them to impose a maximum of five (5) days of furlough over the entire four years of the agreement, with a maximum of two (2) days allowed in any one year. In addition, the option could only be triggered if an equal amount of furlough was required from managerial and unaffiliated employees.

Present for the Guild: Marcus Michelson, Mai Hoang, Darryl Sclater.

Present for the Herald-Republic: Maria Barajas, Rick Oram.

We will be scheduling a formal ratification vote within the next couple of weeks, and members will be provided further notice of time and place. In the meantime, if you have questions or comments, please email yakimaguild@gmail.com, call the Guild office at 206-328-1190, or contact one of the Guild bargaining committee members.

Posted on December 10, 2013 and filed under YAKIMA, BARGAINING.

Yakima Herald-Republic Bargaining Bulletin #2

NEGOTIATIONS MAKE PROGRESS BUT BIG ISSUES REMAIN ON THE TABLE On Monday, your Guild bargaining team and company representatives held the second meeting in negotiations for a new Guild contract at the Herald-Republic. The two sides exchanged new counterproposals, and we reached tentative agreements on several different provisions. Additionally, in an effort to narrow the focus of bargaining, both sides withdrew some proposals. However, most of the remaining issues are big ones: pay, medical cost, furloughs, and the removal of some employees from coverage under Guild contract.

TENTATIVE AGREEMENTS

In the area of vacation administration, the company had proposed to shorten the annual selection period by a month, so that it would run from January 1 to February 28. The Guild counter-proposed to have it run from January 1 to March 15, and the company agreed.

The company had also proposed that any employee giving less than two weeks notice when quitting would forfeit all accrued vacation pay. The Guild counter-proposed that they only lose vacation pay up to a maximum of two weeks, and receive credit for however much notice they actually gave. (For example, if someone gave only one week of notice, they would lose one week of pay.) The company agreed to this counter-proposal.

The company agreed to the Guild proposal to add language covering safe conditions in the workplace, including provisions requiring ergonomic evaluations of equipment and workstations. They also agreed to our proposal to regularly report available sick time on employee pay stubs.

PROPOSALS WITHDRAWN

In order to focus on the key economic issues, the Guild withdrew its proposals on severance pay, holiday compensation, vacation accrual, 401(k) contribution, and mileage compensation. The company withdrew its proposals to change scheduling language.

MAJOR ISSUES STILL OPEN

Pay is the single biggest issue and we are still quite far apart. The Guild submitted a modified wage proposal to the company, providing for a four-year contract, as requested by the company, and calling for annual raises of 2.5 percent, 2 percent, 1.5 percent, and 1.5 percent over the four-year term. In addition we counter-proposed to the company, conditional on acceptance of our wage proposal, a provision allowing for the option of 5 days of furlough over the term of the agreement, with a maximum of 2 days in any one year. The furlough could only be triggered on a "me too" basis, if the company required furlough of its management employees as well.

The company made a small move from its original proposal of a four-year wage freeze, and put forward a modified proposal calling for a freeze of 3 years, with a 1 percent raise in the fourth year.

The company is standing by its proposal to raise the employee contribution for medical insurance from 25 to 30 percent for employee coverage, and from 35 to 40 percent for family coverage.

The company is also standing by its proposal to remove circulation department District Managers from the bargaining unit, and to make them "at will" or "exempt" employees. This would eliminate all contract protections for the group, including those covering seniority, pay, benefits, and discipline, and significantly erode the boundaries of the Guild unit as a whole.

Several other issues remain on the table, but these seem to be the biggest, based on our respective positions and what we have heard from Guild members about their priorities. We feel positive about the areas where we have been able to find agreement with the company so far, and hope to make progress on narrowing the distance between our positions at the next meeting.

The next bargaining session is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, Dec 7 at 10 a.m.

Present for the Guild: Marcus Michelson, Mai Hoang, Darryl Sclater.

Present for the Herald-Republic: Maria Barajas, Rick Oram.

To submit a question or comment, please email yakimaguild@gmail.com, call the Guild office at 206-328-1190, or contact one of the Guild bargaining committee members.

Posted on December 4, 2013 and filed under YAKIMA, BARGAINING.

Yakima Herald-Republic Bargaining Bulletin #1

GUILD AND COMPANY EXCHANGE OPENING PROPOSALS AT FIRST MEETING Yesterday, your Guild bargaining team and company representatives held the first meeting in negotiations for a new Guild contract at the Herald-Republic. Each side brought its opening proposal to the table, laying out the starting positions for further negotiations. Both proposals covered both economic and non-economic issues, including future wages.

THE GUILD PROPOSAL

The Guild proposed an agreement that would last for three years, with increases to base pay for all Guild employees of 2.5 percent each year of the agreement (7.5 percent total over the life of the agreement). We also proposed restoration of the flat 2 percent company contribution to the 401(k) plan for all Guild employees, in addition to the current company match.

In the areas of vacation and sick leave, we proposed to allow people to earn more vacation and sick time more quickly, and to save more of it for future use. On holidays, we proposed to permit more options for employees who have to work holidays, allowing them to choose between taking holiday pay or scheduling a different paid day off. We also proposed to expand sick leave and holiday coverage to part-time employees working 20-35 hours per week, so that they could obtain sick leave time and holiday pay on a pro rata basis, in the same way they currently earn vacation time.

Other proposed improvements included more severance pay for both newer and longer-term employees, doubling both the substitute and night differential premiums, basing mileage compensation on the IRS rate, and clarifying and simplifying the cell-phone reimbursement provisions.

We also proposed adding a new section to the contract, committing the employer to maintenance of a safe and healthy work environment, including ergonomic evaluation of workstations and provision of ergonomically sound equipment for all employees.

THE COMPANY PROPOSAL

The company proposed an agreement for four years, so as not to overlap with other contracts in the production area. The company's initial wage proposal was for a wage freeze for the entire term of the agreement.

In the second year of the agreement, the company proposed to raise employees' required contribution for their own medical insurance from 25 percent to 30 percent of the premium, and the employee contribution for dependents from 35 to 40 percent of the premium.

In the area of vacation scheduling, the company proposed shortening the period for selecting vacation time in seniority order by a month; instead of lasting from January 1 to March 31, the selection period would run from January 1 to February 28. Also, the company proposed that if an employee who resigns or quits fails to give two weeks notice, he/she would forfeit all accrued vacation time that would otherwise be paid out in a lump sum.

In a significant change to the jurisdiction and membership of the Guild, the company proposed to remove circulation District Managers from coverage under the contract, and to make them "at will" or "exempt" employees; this would eliminate all contract protections for the group, including those covering seniority, pay, benefits, and discipline.

The company made some technical proposals on scheduling and callbacks that needed some clarification. We expect to hear more about those items at the next meeting.

Finally, the company requested the option to require up to five days of furlough, if needed, over the life the of the contract.

NEXT MEETING

The two sides acknowledged that the two proposals were obviously far apart, but agreed that they were there to bargain in good faith on all issues. The next bargaining session will be on Monday, Dec 2 at 10 a.m.

Present for the Guild: Marcus Michelson, Mai Hoang, Darryl Sclater.

Present for the Herald-Republic: Maria Barajas, Rick Oram.

To submit a question or comment, please email yakimaguild@gmail.com, call the Guild office at 206-328-1190, or contact one of the Guild bargaining committee members.

Posted on November 21, 2013 and filed under YAKIMA, BARGAINING.

Local Executive Board Officer Nominations and Provisional Election Results

At the November 14 General Membership meeting, the following individuals were nominated as Local Executive Board officers for the 2014-2016 term:

President: Phil Kearney, Seattle Times Advertising

Treasurer: Steve Miletich, Seattle Times News

Secretary: Rob Davila, Seattle Times News

Because no office received multiple nominations, election was determined to be by acclamation. This determination is provisional, as Local bylaws provide for additional nominations by petition up to five business days subsequent to the November nominating meeting.

To be valid, nominating petitions must be signed by at least twenty-five members in good standing of the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild and delivered to the Guild office no later than 5 p.m. Friday, November 22, 2013. If a valid petition is received for any office, an election will be scheduled during the month of December. If no valid petitions are received, the provisional election results shall be confirmed and the individuals listed will take office on January 1, 2014 for a term of two years.

No nominations were received for the office of Vice President and the position remains open. Subsequent to the start of the 2014-2016 term, the office may be filled by appointment of the Executive Board, subject to confirmation at the next General Membership meeting.

I you have any questions or concerns regarding the nominating, election, or petition process, please reply to this email or contact the Guild office at the number shown below.

The Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild 2122 Third Avenue Seattle, WA 98121 p: 206-328-1190 f: 206-922-5694

Posted on November 15, 2013 and filed under ELECTIONS, MEETINGS.

NOTICE: General Membership Meeting Rescheduled for Thursday, November 14

GENERAL MEMBERSHIP POSTPONED ONE DAY - NEW DATE THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 14 Due to a late scheduling conflict, the Guild General Membership originally scheduled for Wednesday, November 13 will now take place one day later, on Thursday, November 14. The location (at the Guild office in Belltown) and time remain unchanged. We regret any inconvenience to members.

Location: 2122 Third Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Please call the Guild office at the number listed below if you have any questions or concerns.

The Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild 2122 Third Avenue Seattle, WA 98121 p: 206-328-1190 f: 206-922-5694

Posted on November 12, 2013 and filed under MEETINGS.

NOTICE: Guild Local Executive Board Nominations Now Open

OPEN OFFICER POSITIONS ON GUILD EXECUTIVE BOARD - NOMINATIONS AT GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 7 P.M. Every two years, your local Guild elects officers to serve on the local Executive Board. This year, we are likely to have at least two positions on the Executive Board open for new nominations. The biggest gap on the Board is being created by the impending retirement of long-serving Board-member and current Local President Ralph Erickson (Seattle Times Circulation). Over the years, Ralph has made enormous contributions both to the Seattle Times unit and the larger Guild local, most recently serving on the Seattle Times contract bargaining team. All of us in the Guild are deeply indebted to him for his many years of dedicated service.

WHAT DOES THE EXECUTIVE BOARD DO?

The Executive Board is the main director of the routine business of the local Guild, on behalf of the general membership. Board officer positions are President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary. Primary tasks include supervising the actions of the local's paid staff, approving and reviewing expenditure of local funds, and deciding routine local policy. Time demands are modest. Normally, the Board meets one evening a month at the Guild office in Belltown. Typically, meetings last between an hour and ninety minutes. There is no Board meeting during the month of July.

Paradoxically, the industry trends that have so greatly reduced our membership ranks (and cost us so many of our most experienced and active members) have also significantly reduced the burden of local administration. The local is much smaller than in was a decade ago, and we have only one paid staff member, the local Administrative Officer. Both the complexity and volume of local business are significantly less than in the past.

Still, it remains very important for us to have an active, engaged Board providing oversight for the local, so that we remain in conformity with our charter, bylaws, and the basic rules of union governance. Even if you have been intimidated in the past by the prospect of serving on the Board, we hope you will consider taking on this relatively straightforward but important task, on behalf of yourself and your fellow Guild members.

MORE QUESTIONS?

If you would like to know more about what's involved in serving on the Board, feel free to reply directly to this email, or give a call to the Guild office.

PROCEDURE FOR NOMINATIONS Nominations may be submitted at the November 13 General Membership meeting at the Guild office. They may also be submitted via email, or otherwise in writing, on or before November 13. You may nominate either yourself or another Guild member; however, election of anyone other than a self-nominee obviously requires the nominee's consent. If there is only one nominee for a position, election will be by acclamation.

The Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild 2122 Third Avenue Seattle, WA 98121 p: 206-328-1190 f: 206-922-5694

Posted on November 1, 2013 and filed under ELECTIONS, MEETINGS.

New 2013-2016 Seattle Times Contract Approved

Voting on the proposed Seattle Times 2013-2016 contract concluded at noon today. A committee of Guild members tallied the ballots immediately following the close of voting. The proposed new contract passed by a clear majority of the ballots cast. It has been a long-standing Pacific NW Guild practice not to publish the numbers relating to internal votes. However, any member in good standing who wants more detail on the vote can contact the Guild office at 206-328-1190. Any member in good standing can also examine the ballots and voting materials at the Guild office upon request.

Thank you to everyone who voted. Thank you also to everyone who participated in the process along the way, by responding to surveys, attending issues meetings, sending in e-mails, talking with members of the committee, and communicating with fellow employees and Times managers. Critical comments and positive suggestions were equally important in directing our talks with the company. Regardless of whether or not you were satisfied with the final agreement, your voice and contribution were vital to any improvements and positive additions we gained in the final version.

All the upside to this agreement was fundamentally owing to YOU, because at the end of the day, you ARE the union. Thank you again for playing your part and supporting the bargaining team at the table.

Guild 2013-2016 Bargaining Team

Ralph Erickson (Circulation, Local President) Phil Kearney (Advertising) Karl Neice (News) Darryl Sclater (Local Administrative Officer) Darren Carroll (Guild International Representative)

To submit a question or comment, or if you have a work-related issue, please email Administrative Officer Darryl Sclater at ao37082@gmail.com or call the Guild office at 206-328-1190.

Posted on June 7, 2013 and filed under SEATTLE TIMES, BARGAINING.