DATE: July 17, 2009
TO: All Employees
FROM: Cheryl Dell
RE: Extra Vacation Proposal vs. Work Furlough
2009 continues to be an economic challenge for companies within our industry and in our local market. One of the potential cost saving initiatives for the second half of 2009 is a one-week unpaid furlough. We postponed triggering the furlough, hoping our revenue trends would improve.
We are now far along enough in the year to see that we do need to trigger a cost savings initiative of this magnitude, but have come up with an alternative program that may provide similar savings, without anyone taking unpaid time off. This alternative program involves taking additional vacation and is being introduced in an attempt to avoid unpaid furloughs.
As we contemplated the possible need for a furlough earlier this year, we had agreed that we would treat all employees the same, regardless of whether you are a union or a non-union employee. This means that we must get Guild agreement to implement the alternative mandatory vacation program in lieu of a furlough program. Company representatives met with Guild representatives today, to introduce the vacation program and stressed the importance of getting this approved.
We also made it clear that if the alternate vacation program was not approved, that the company would have to move forward with the original cost savings initiative and trigger an unpaid one-week furlough for all full time employees - union and non-union.
This is how the vacation program would work:
*If you earn 4 weeks of vacation per year, you would have to take two weeks of vacation between July 5, 2009 and December 27, 2009, plus one additional week.
*If you earn 3 weeks of vacation per year, you would have to take 1.5 weeks of vacation between July 5, 2009 and December 27, 2009, plus one additional week.
*Employees with less than 5 days of vacation accrual as of July 5, 2009 will not be required to take the additional week.
Guild representatives will be taking this proposal to their membership for a vote during the week of July 27. If the vote is yes, in favor of the vacation program, we will implement it immediately. In the event that the Guild vote is no, we will be implementing the furlough program.
Please note: Due to the uncertainty of the economy, we still have to hold on to the remote possibility of a one-week work furlough (just in case economic conditions get dramatically worse). However, we think that introducing this program at this time, in an attempt to avoid unpaid furloughs, is a much better alternative.
McClatchy likes this because they get to reduce financial liablities now on the books.
Update: from comments at the Guild site:
Can we assume management will also burn their vacation time for the good of the company?