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?
...and you guild schmucks are going to buy it, even though a simple minute's worth of useful thought will tell you that a vacation burn is going to do absolutely nothing to save a dime or you from mandatory furloughs.
They're going to use you as a rubber stamp and then blame you when people catch on.
You are the dumbest collection of tools that ever infected a news room, but from what I have seen, you girly men love getting double teamed. Obama doing you on one end, Pruitt has the other.
Man, the Bee guild is worthless. Why even vote? Company gets its way either way - furloughs or vacation burn. Just another screwing of the employee. How can these people still work under these conditions? If you're still drawing a McClatchy paycheck you're a complete loser at this stage of the game.
The company loves this vacation burn because it won't have to payout untaken vacation accruals when it lays these fools off at the end of the year. Saves McClatchy a lot of cash. Pity the staff that has to put out a product with half the staff on vacation the next five months. What a living Hell!
The guild site, www.beeguildnow.org has a list of Sac Bee reporters and how much vacation they'll have to take. Most will be forced to burn 3 weeks before Dec. 27. They won't turn this down and embrace furloughs. All the "senior writers" will have to take a full week of no pay with furloughs.
The guilders will likely get boot-stomped three ways, shafted with vacation burndown and then furloughed, followed by laidoff. Ya'lls publisher did say furloughs weren't out of the question. Makes you wanna vote, don't it?
Anon 6:21 et all, Go baby, GO!!
What happens if you need those weeks for a long vacation you already planned early next year? Better read the trip cancellation clauses.
..Unlikely the SacBee will put out any different product with half the folks gone. Same rip and print, same inattention to facts, All the same lame columnists stretching the truth past the breaking point to make their point. But since nobody actually reads the Bee, it won't matter.
Don't let them get away with this. Protest the week furlough by going on strike for a week.
That will show them who is in charge.
If everyone has to take a week off, can you please have Rex Babin mail in his daily 4th grade stick and circle drawing that he considers a political cartoon. Or better yet, just leave that space blank in the paper. Either way will be the same same.
Pardon the intrusion, but could anyone point me to the Bee fan site? I dun think this is it.
Sac Bee employees, take it from someone who knows. If management asks you to take time off then tell them your going to take your Comp days FIRST. With all the cuts and added work there are many that have weeks of Comp days. If you got them use them. Remember, they do not pay for those once your laid off so don't put more money into Pruitts pocket.
Legally according to wage and hour laws comp time must be taken within the pay cycle when it is worked. If not, you're supposed to be paid overtime. Off the record deals with your boss for working and taking comp time later means nothing. If you're a supervisor there is no such thing as comp time.
Maybe somebody should tip the government that McClatchy is violating comp time rules. The vacation hours chart the Bee union posted also shows lots of employees over the vacation limit. Wonder if they just lose that time or McC makes good on those suckups they like and screw the rest?
Some employees, those that are more fortunate, have much more vacation time accrued than those that are less fortunate. This is basically unfair.
All vacation time should be put in a pool and shared equally. Then each employee should be required to withdraw a certain amount from that pool instead of furlough.
Those employees that are fortunate enough to be paid more than those less fortunate should also add to that pool the difference between their pay and the pay of those less fortunate. That way all employees could draw vacation days at the same pay rate.
If you voted for Obama or ever vote for a democrat, the above suggestion should make sense. It is the essence of what Obama and the democrats stand for.
I am guessing that the Sac Bee has an accrual system. At the Star it is a use it or lose it system. You have to use it all, or Jan 1 you lose it.
My how benefits have eroded the past two years. You wouldn't think it's the same company. How very sad and demoralizing.
Employees at other MNI papers beware: This is going to happen at your papers, too, if it isn't already.
At the Sac Bee vacation time is automatically recorded by payroll. It's basically X amount of hours per week worked. When you reach your max the accrual stops after that your giving the company free time.
Comp days for the most part are off the book days Management has asked you to work because they short staffed. Keep good records of those days and use them ASAP.
Use Comp days before you use vacation time. When your laid off the compant has to pay you vacation days.
While on forced vacation do the following.
1. Get your financial ducks in a row
2. Up date your resume
3. Start filling out applications NOW!
4. Network! Network! Network!
5. Make a list of how you can cut your spending in half and bank the other half.
6. Find out where the Employment Development Office is located! 1-(800) 300-5616...press 1 for English!
Will this forced burn down affect the quality of the print edition of the Modesto Bee?
Silly me...there is NO quality with the printed edition of the Modesto Bee.
Looks like they getting ready for bankruptcy.
Use your forced vacation weeks to look for another job! You have nobody to blame but yourself for delaying the inevitable. If you're happy working for McClatchy, please see a doctor and start your meds.
Employees should not be treated like this in America.
Do you guys think that upper management is forced to take their vacation time or do they get to keep their hours to use when ever they want to ?
With so few bodies, management's vacation benefit will have to be cancelled. Somebody will have to fill in for the vacationing hordes.
The Sacramento region is being hit by high unemployment and worker's furloughs.
Very hard to calculate the full impact to the local economy of less money in everyone's pocket.
The retailers are in survival mode and the home builders have gone the way of CC Meyers.
Fitting that The Bee will be the faded monument to the failed Golden State.
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