Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Why lifting the wage freeze isn't much help to McClatchy employees

McClatchy employees learned Monday the company will lift the wage freeze that has been in effect for more than a year.

The news initially cheered workers who haven't had much to cheer about over the past couple of years.

But how much real benefit is this for employees?

When you look at the actual numbers, MNI wages have retracted -- due not just to the wage freeze but also to the salary decrease that hit most employees this past spring.

Check out the numbers an employee emailed me.

I was hired in 2006 at 52,000

I received a merit pay increase (3%) to 53,560 in 2007

US cost of living adjustment (COLA) of 3.3% (spanning 2006) would have been 53,716.

Before my next review, my wage was frozen.

COLA for 2007 would have been 2.3% (which would have brought me to $54,951)
COLA for 2008 would have been 5.8% (which would have brought me to $59,139)

BUT, 2009 was actually a 5% decrease, meaning my actual salary decreased to $50,882

So at the end of 2009, there's a difference of $8,257

That means for me to get back to even, I would need a raise of 16.25%

McClatchy employees are still in a deep hole and wait for the company to get serious about making things right with employees.


Anonymous said...

Sorry "McClatchy employee," but somehow I fail to feel your pain of COLA losses. Unlike me, a laid off and former McClatchy employee, you are still working and you still have your health benefits. I'm now freelancing and my family is (barely) surviving on about one-fourth of my former paycheck. Quit bitching and count your blessings -- however cursed under the McClatchy tent.

Anonymous said...

If you're still a McClatchy employee you have no right to bitch. Instead of getting a real job in the real world, you chose to stick with an ailing company. Retrain yourself, go back to school, get a legit job or shut the hell up.

Anonymous said...

The 8 grand is just in salary. What about the pension and 401K match this stooge also lost? Toss in the higher health care premiums and he/she may as well have taken a management position at the corner Carl's Jr. More prestige working for Carl's Jr., too.

Anonymous said...

As a current MNI employee, I agree with the first two comments. I'm glad I have a job in my field of choice and good health benefits. (Poster No. 3: Obvious troll is obvious.)

And a 2% raise is better than a kick in the crotch, no matter how many times you take a hit to your jingle bells.

Anonymous said...

COLA adjustment:

Merit raise:

Getting Obama elected:

Anonymous said...

Just to add to the "clutter", some McC employees took a 10% cut in the spring. Add in 3% loss caused by the 401K being matched no longer plus another 2% for 1 week furlough and you total basically a 15% pay cut. Then you have to figure in the fact that many McC employees have had their hours reduced to 37.5 which works out to a 6% reduction for a grand total payroll reduction of 21%. Please, don't ask about the frozen pension or definitely DO NOT bring up the fact the employee part of the "middle" health insurance option is going to increase 30% for a single person. Remember that I asked you not to bring up those last 2 items as it makes one want to cry.

For those that say "quit bitching if you are still a McC employee and go get a real job", by reading the comments section everyday, I wonder just where the "real" jobs are for those who wish to take that plunge. According to many of those comments, there aren't many available

Anonymous said...

McClatchy started sinking two years ago. There were good jobs available and smart reporters and editors applied and got many of those jobs. A lot of my friends are working as publicists for private and government agencies, for politicians (mostly Democrats!) or they went back to college to retrain.
Waiting until the last year to get out was a disasterous mistake for those who still work for McC. Yes, I feel for them but it was their choice to try to stick it out.

Anonymous said...

Well a person could always take that degree in journalism or English and design a bridge or create software or set broken arms at an emergency room or fly a 747 or create a disease resistant corn plant or drive a taxi.

Anonymous said...

Those are good degrees to minor in, but not major. Even 25 years ago the advice was never major in journalism/communications. It's a good lesson still for our children. Major in something that has a future. And never send our kids to a fine arts or liberal arts college! A complete waste of money and their future.

Anonymous said...

This is ridiculous conversation. You are just upset with the whole world you live in. McClatchy is telling you it's going to give you something rather than nothing and you're going to complain about that just over a thousand dollars?

There are many companies, not only news companies, that have frozen salaries and have yet to reinstate.

One thing you must remember, this isn't an entitlement either. If you suck and are openly disgruntled, you still might end up with squat.
Geez, you should feel very lucky you have a job. Have you seen the unemployment rate? You're spitting in all the unemployed face with complaints like these.

You still have your livelihood, cable TV and high speed access. You should go out and have a nice drink and toast the unfortunate, bitch.

Anonymous said...

In Fresno, the former HR director scolded employees who asked about Cost of Living Allowances. She claimed that there was no such thing as Cost of Living Anything. This was in meetings to explain a new salary structure. She was scary old and worked for a chicken processing plant before this.

Anonymous said...

Who the **** is this guy ? ? Making $52,000 a year and bitching? Try $290 a week take home on unemployment dumb a$$

I'll trade you. I will happily take back my $48,000 a year job and you can collect unemployment.
Then you will have something to whine about.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, I was happy to get some money back. Sure, we've taken some hits, but any money is better than no money.

Anonymous said...

Can't blame the guy for "whining," as some of you are calling it. I would be too if I was still unfortunate enough to be working for this sh!t hole company. It took me nearly a year to find a job after they sh!t canned me, but I did find a great job with a superb company and I'm better for it today.

Anyone else who's lost his or her job from McCraptchy, you'll be better off for it in the long run -- I promise you that. I know it's hard to look at it that way today if you're still collecting an unemployment check, but you'll be the one's smiling in no time at what's remaining of of McCraptchy and its irreparable trash newspapers.

I can't blame him for being angry at all, because the guy's working his tail off doing double, triple the work due to the bloodshed MNI's done and has to read this MNI PR spin.

Hey McCraptchy, give the guy and the rest of your poor soul employees their 15% in lost wages that they rightfully deserve, otherwise spare them your BS cherry-on-top PR attempts at saying how great it is that you've lifted the wage freeze.

In reality, McCraptchy is truly a sh!t stain of a company and I feel for those poor souls that are trying to get out but still remain. I know more than a handful of them alone at my former newspaper.

Anonymous said...

The MNI announcement was obviously a PR move to keep employees on board even while the economy slowly begins improving and jobs slowly slowly slowly become available outside MNI.

Anyone who falls for it is an idiot. If being promised you might get a 1 percent raise over your much reduced salary is all that it takes to make you happy, you really need to reevaluate your priorities.

And for the priss who says that the smart MNI employees got out two years ago and found other jobs or took early buyouts - well aren't you a bright light. Not everyone had your superior insight that the economy was about to go to hell. Too bad you didn't advise the MNI board of that too.

Anonymous said...

To the person who wrote: "Gosh, I was happy to get some money back. Sure, we've taken some hits, but any money is better than no money."

You're not getting any money back. They just lifted the wage freeze. This person obviously doesn't work in business and is clueless as to what is going on here.

Anonymous said...

Not everyone had your superior insight that the economy was about to go to hell.

It didn't take insight. George Bush warned you 17 times that unless something was done about the democrats housing scam that the house of cards was going to fall.

You idiots that think you're so special just chose not to print it. You f(*King morons who've decided it isn't news unless you print it, did it to yourselves. Lots and I do mean lots of people knew this was coming.

Anonymous said...

I just want to see if more layoffs are going to pay for the wage increases. I'd rather not take a wage increase if it helps preserve someone's job.
Some of us still here are not in a position to bail even if we wanted too, everyone is suffering and some of us are just trying to survive.

Ima Loser said...

Those suits at McClatchy have got a lot of nerve.

They quit giving out raises and then lop off 5% of our pay and they got the gall to announce this crap while patting themselves on the back at the same time.

How does giving us back 1% of our already earned money constitute a pay raise?

It's akin to calling a war a police action.

Totally ridiculous on their part.

And what's up with the COLA. that's the kind of money you get at a government job, not a McClatchy job.

As far as being told to stop bitching because we're lucky to have a job....sounds like McClatchy has got their P.R. folks out on the web. That's the same thing the King told his subjects. They want everyone to feel scared and to keep their mouths shut.

I feel so lucky that King Pruitt lets me work in his kingdom.

Jethro Bodine - dubble not spy said...

i'm wondering the same thing.

i don't have much of an ejumacation like y'all on here, but i do get to read the wall street paper if i can find a clean copy in the trash at work.

i'd have been studyin' that paper a bit and was wondering if one of you dudes with a college skin in finance could help me out.

when you takes sumptin' from me and a year or so later turn around and give me back a fifth of it, i was just wonderin' if new accountin' rules say that it is called a pay raise?

i'm sure that them folks in charge are all on the up and up and wouldn't never mess wit my pay. right?