Saturday, December 6, 2008

Report: Modesto Bee looking to cut employee pensions

The Modesto Bee may be making a bid to cut employee pensions.
Eliminating pension plans is among the cost-cutting proposals by managers at The Modesto Bee, a sister publication of The Sacramento Bee, according to the union that represents many employees in the newsroom.

Management at the cash-strapped daily newspaper also are considering the right to use reporters and editors interchangeably with photographers, and want the flexibility to hire part-timers, without benefits, to replace full-time workers as part of contract negotiations, according to the guild.

Modesto Bee executives would not comment.

Guild representatives and newspaper officials will start contract negotiations in January.

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12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not just the Bee, but nationwide. MNI is eliminating the pension, moving over to to a beefed up 401K plan to save money.

Anonymous said...

The Mod Bee Managers don't float an idea like this without the direction of the third floor at 21st and Q.

Anonymous said...

Make it painful and costly for them y'all. Drag negotiations out as long as you possibly can. You'll probably outlast them. The whole works is going down the tubes anyway. Maybe employees can pick up the whole shooting match at a fire sale.

Anonymous said...

If any of the papers offer anymore buyouts TAKE them.

Archer05 said...

I read comments that some papers
are asking top journalists that
have taken buyouts, to come back to work as freelance writers at half the price of their former salaries. It was called double dipping. Supposedly it allows for more layoffs of journalists with those pesky benefits, but keeps some sort of quality reporting at greatly reduced prices.

It was also said that newspapers and TV stations are inviting viewers and readers to send in photos of news and other items of interest instead of paying a photojournalist. I never thought about camera/cell phones costing professionals their jobs.

Dozens of posters have the same advice as Anonymous …“buyouts TAKE them.”

Anonymous said...

They can only work as freelance because they signed papers to get the buyout money that they can NEVER work for any McClathcy newspaper again their life. Who would want to?

Archer05 said...

To: 8:01 Anonymous- So, journalists can take a buyout from McClatchy, sign a paper that they will never work for them again, but later work for them as a freelance writer? That sounds like the Lokeman/Zieman deal. If Howard Weaver isn’t suffering severely from 'burning-bridge' syndrome, perhaps he will return as a McClatchy ghost writer. Ghosts being the remaining readers.

Anonymous said...

6:29 Yes that is correct. They are not an employee of McClatchy. McClatchy wins get the articles and won't have to pay any benefits. That's The Red Star Way.

Anonymous said...

Are the pensions of the laid off workers safe? I didn't think they could touch that...but in the McClatchy tradition...nothing is safe.

Anonymous said...

I believe that companies pay into a government fund that your pension will be there. This is the fund that McClatchy and several other compaines are behind in funding. These companies are asking the gov. to delay funding.

The way McClatchy treats their employees who knows. Just look at those poor folks in Florida...they have to get the news from the NY Times.

Anonymous said...

In light of the Tribune Co. bankruptcy, can someone explain to me what would happen to current McClatchy employees' salaries, benefits, health insurance, accrued vacation time, 401k plan, etc. if there were to be an MNI bankruptcy filing? Could the company use a bankruptcy filing as a way to slash those costs?

Anonymous said...

Yep, Everything is slashed. That's the way to get rid of most of the benefits.