NYT editors: ‘We know this has been a challenging time’

New York Times editors respond to union members’ contract-talks concerns, expressed yesterday in a hallway protest: “We all acknowledge that the push-pull of the negotiating process can be wearying. But we have been here before. Like you and our colleagues on the negotiating team, we are committed to finding a solution.”

March 1, 2012

Getting Through Challenging Times Together

Jill, Dean and John write: Together, we produce the world’s most powerful and engaging news report. We know you are as proud as we are every single day of the extraordinary breadth and depth of our singular journalism. We know that you are being asked to do more and more to keep pace with the relentless demands of a constant news cycle across multiple platforms.

In recent weeks, we’ve had conversations with many of you about your frustrations and worries over the protracted Guild negotiations, which have now gone on for more than a year. Yesterday’s gathering by the page one room shortly before the 4 p.m.meeting was another reminder of how deeply unsettling this time has been.

Negotiations are certainly best left to those at the bargaining tables, where — as we all know — the issue of pension plans is at the heart of those negotiations, just as it is at the center of your concerns.

We understand those concerns. Two years ago, the pensions of all non-union staff members were frozen, mirroring a move that many other companies have taken. At that time the Company did provide excluded employees with an enhanced 401k, and ensured as well that no one lost credits accrued prior to the freeze In the negotiations with the Guild, the Company has indicated a willingness to take this approach, too.

We all acknowledge that the push-pull of the negotiating process can be wearying. But we have been here before. Like you and our colleagues on the negotiating team, we are committed to finding a solution.

We thought this was a good moment for us to underscore our commitment to you and to affirm our faith in the future of The Times. After all, we are all in this together.

We have ambitious plans for the year ahead. We will continue to innovate digitally offering our readers increasingly rich and engaging experiences on many platforms. We will expand our reach and invest in our talent.

The New York Times stands almost alone in being able to offer talented journalists a promising and fulfilling career. We are the destination for those committed to the highest standards of excellence.

We know this has been a challenging time and that we will get through it together.

All best,
Jill, Dean and John

Comments

comments

2 comments
  1. Bill R. said:

    Bollocks. If the NYT Co. can afford to pay one former employee $4.5 million simply for being a former employee, it certainly could (and should) be more judicious in ensuring its current employees have reasonable security — via adequate pensions — when they also become former employees.

    Fair’s fair. And on this, the “Co.” part of NYT is looking very old and gray (and greedy) indeed … .

  2. wubbly said:

    Presumably that executive had the ability to negotiate individual compensation. However poor the leadership, executives are paid at market for execs. The NYT employees chose to bargain collectively. The business is losing money and what’s the market for a newspaper journalist these days? These journos are probably among the highest paid in the industry right now and should consider themselves lucky they have a job at all. There is no economic incentive for management to enhance their compensation becuase all these folks are at the top of the market already. Since they’re in a union, it practically guarantees they won’t get paid any more (and might well have to do with less).