Tentative agreement reached at Honolulu Star Advertiser
26 Aug 2011 Media Workers Guild
PACIFIC MEDIA WORKERS GUILD BARGAINING UPDATE -- AUGUST
Your bargaining committee has reached a tentative agreement with management on a new five-year contract.
Informational briefings will be held on Friday and Monday. A ratification vote is scheduled for next Thursday.
Here is a summary of the major terms:
*Pay raises: 1.5%, 1.5%, 1.5%, 2.5%, and 3% -- or 10% total -- over the five-year contract. Former Star-Bulletin workers hired and working before June 6, 2010 receive a one-time $350 bonus.
*Medical: Effective in January, workers will pay 15% of monthly medical and dental premium costs -- up from 10% -- while the company will pay 85% -- down from 90%. In January 2013, workers will pay 20% of premium costs, while the company will pay 80%.
Starting with open enrollment in 2012, spouses eligible for medical insurance coverage from another healthcare plan shall not be eligible under the company’s plan, unless adding a spouse results in no increase in the share of the premium, such as under the company’s family plan.
The company has also stated its intent, separate from the tentative agreement, to create pre-tax medical savings accounts to help workers contain healthcare costs.
*Vacation: Workers will no longer be able to earn a fifth week of vacation after more than 24 years of experience. Workers who have already earned a fifth week of vacation will be entitled to keep the benefit.
*Sick leave: The maximum weeks of benefits at full pay per benefit year is 2 weeks, down from four weeks. The amount of unused sick leave workers can carry over from year-to-year and bank in reserve is seven weeks, down from 12 weeks, and can only be used for hospitalization and recovery from physician-certified major illnesses. Workers who have already earned 12 weeks of banked sick leave will be able to keep the benefit until and unless their bank falls below seven weeks. A new benefit grants five days of sick leave per year to part-time employees working more than 30 hours per week.
Part-time workers who average 30 hours a week will also, for the first time, be eligible for five-days of sick leave a year.
Holidays: The number of paid holidays is nine, down from 10, a loss of a personal holiday.
*Seniority: In the event of a layoff, seniority built at the former Star-Bulletin and at the former Advertiser for workers hired on June 7, 2010 will be honored within six skill set categories, up from two categories:
- -Reporters (including editorial writers)
- -Copy editors (including page designers)
- -Online production
- -Clerks (including sports clerks)
Workers with prior service in more than one skill set category shall have a one-time right per layoff to return to a prior category, provided that the worker has performed in that skill set within the past 12 months.
The company has committed to no layoffs for one year.
Further details of the tentative agreement will be available at informational briefings on Friday and Monday. All guild members are encouraged to attend. A ratification vote is scheduled for next Thursday.
Your bargaining committee is Heather Ahue, Derrick DePledge, Rob Shikina, Gene Park, Sjarif Goldstein, Gary Chun, Cynthia Oi, and Jenny Delos Santos.