Michael Amon

A Good Question from John Riley

Posted in Uncategorized by michaelamon on February 8, 2010

John Riley wrote to me awhile ago, asking why editorial was asked to give up a week of vacation across the board, while other units only lost the 5th week of vacation. My understanding at the time was that editorial lost the week of vacation through routine bargaining, in exchange for less severe wage cuts. Riley’s sentiment at the end reflects something a number of people have complained to me about: that the vacation cuts in editorial seemed harsh and out-of-step with other units. Something to think about as labor meets management Tuesday.

From Riley: According to their initial letter to the union, Newsday sought to eliminate the grandfathered fifth week of vacation.

The Electronic Prepress MoA that was voted on a couple of weeks ago acceded to that demand. The Pressroom, Transportation, Building Maintenance and Platemaking MoAs all called for the fifth week to be whittled down to two days, giving up three days. The Editorial MoA, however, gives up a week of vacation for ALL members — not just the fifth week for those who are entitled to it, and not just three days. We seem to have given management MORE than its initial demand.

It’s possible there’s a good reason for this, but I can’t think of it. Can anyone shed any light on it?

I realize that the union has rejected all of the MoAs. But they are nonetheless a reflection of some of the negotiations to date, and to some degree a starting point for the next round of negotiations. Unless there is a good reason, or a valuable tradeoff we got in return, I think we should make clear to George and Mike that Editorial expects a vacation clause that is not more punitive than the rest of the union.

Thoughts? Discussion?

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