Boston Globe management and the paper's largest union ended another marathon bargaining session early this morning without resolving their contract dispute. The two sides will continue talking by phone today, but the next scheduled face-to-face meeting is not until Monday, according to union and management officials.
The negotiations, which stretched for about 13 hours and broke off around 4 a.m., follow the Boston Newspaper Guild’s rejection last week of a $10 million package of concessions the Globe's owner, the New York Times Co., says it needs to continue to operate the money-losing paper. The company, in response, declared an impasse and imposed a 23 percent wage cut on the nearly 700 editorial, advertising, and business office workers represented by the Guild.
The wage cut went into effect on Sunday.
“We have not reached an agreement with the Guild and are tentatively scheduled to meet again for discussions on Monday, June 22,” said Globe spokesman Robert Powers. “The wage reduction of 23% remains in effect.”
Guild president Daniel Totten said in a statement that the union will continue to share information and talk to company officials by telephone today. "We are optimistic about the prospects for reaching an agreement after our most recent talks with the company," he said. "The discussions will continue today."
Globe management and the Guild yesterday were focusing on limiting the size of the pay cut the union's members would have to take. The package of concessions rejected by the Guild included an 8.4 percent pay cut, as well as five days of unpaid furloughs, deep reductions to health and retirement benefits, and the elimination of lifetime job guarantees for about 170 veteran members.
The size of the pay cut was viewed as a key reason for the proposal's narrow defeat.
Michael Paulson, a reporter and Guild member monitoring the negotiations, said there were two outstanding issues: the reconfiguration of the $10 million in concessions to limit pay cuts: and the handling of the company-imposed 23 percent pay cut during the period between reaching an agreement and implementing a new contract.
Under the Guild's bylaws, an agreement couldn’t be ratified for at least 30 days, meaning members would lose nearly a quarter of their paychecks for at least that long. (By Robert Gavin, Globe staff)