"Singletown" Singleton let it be known there is a new sheriff in town at the San Jose Mercury News. According to the guild,"Mercury News management opened bargaining today with a proposal that wouldcreate a two-tier pay scale, eliminate the pension plan, increase healthcare costs and cut many other contractual benefits and protections."
The guild also said the MediaNews proposals include:
- In the event of layoffs, management reserves the sole right to determinewho is fired
- Creating a two-tier wage system by keeping Guild members under the currentscale, but bringing in new hires at a scale management described as"market-rate"
- Eliminate the defined benefit pension plan and replace it with a 401kplan
- Eliminate all jurisdiction protections to essentially allow non-Guildmembers at other MediaNews Group papers to perform our work
- Remove Sacramento Bureau employees as well as 35 lower-level editors innews, sports and business, and six additional business side employees
- Advertising sales employees could be fired or disciplined if they do notmeet company-set goals in three consecutive months, or in four months in a12-month period
In response the guild said they will challenge these proposals and plan to meet with their members by the end of the month.