The Boston Globe and its largest union went back to the table Tuesday, finally reaching an agreement in the wee hours Wednesday that appears to include changes to the so-called lifetime guarantee for 190 employees. Some details are leaking out, despite promises from management and the Boston Newspaper Guild to keep it quiet until the union can present the deal to its members Thursday.
According to the Globe, citing a person briefed on the negotiations, the concessions the Guild will vote on Thursday amount to a 10 percent wage cut — 8.5 percent in salary and an additional unpaid five-day furlough. Some pension contributions will be frozen, 401K contributions will stop and the company wins on eliminating the job guarantees.
The Globe (which has done a good job with the tough task of covering itself) reports that Guild members were warned before a deal was reached that a “large layoff” was likely no matter the outcome. The Guild was told by the company in early April that it had to come up with half of the $20 million in concessions needed to keep the paper open; the union said it offered slightly more than the $10 million required. But the company countered with a 23 percent wage cut and a demand for changes in job security. Currently, roughly one-third of the Guild’s 600 members can be fired only for cause, not laid off for economic reasons.
So, what does it mean?
The Boston Globe isn