I’ve been asked lots of questions about how this is all going down, so I’ll lay out as much as I know.
Over the next couple days, the guild leadership is expected to start hearing proposals on salary reductions and furloughs. The plan then would be to fine tune the proposals between now and Friday, Feb. 27.
We’ve requested that the company allow one of our representatives or staff members to see the books, so we are not blindly accepting their demands. The company has not responded to that request or answered any of the numerous questions we’ve asked.
On Feb. 27, the hope is to come to some tentative agreement on wage reeducations. At that point, my understanding we’ll have two scenarios: With the reductions x number of layoff, without the reductions x + y layoffs. If we don’t reach an agreement — because the demands for cuts are too steep or they don’t give us enough information to determine this action is needed — the company will likely begin issuing the layoff notices (plan x + y) soon there after.
If we do come to a tentative agreement, paid members would then need to ratify these temporary concessions to our contract. The vote is scheduled for March 6 at the Eleanor McClatchy Center. If ratified, I would expect the company to begin layoffs (plan x) shortly thereafter. If you are not a paid member, you will NOT be allowed to vote on the contract concessions or other proposed changes to the contract outlined in earlier bargaining bulletins. If the tentative agreement is rejected, they would likely begin issuing notices following plan x + y.
Finally, we believe the information in the News and Review on the number of layoffs needed to trigger a WARN act is wrong. That number of layoffs at The Bee that would trigger the California requirements is 50, not 500.