Boston Globe, Guild Reach Tentative Agreement; Next Vote Is July 20

The Boston Globe and its largest union, the Boston Newspaper Guild, have a tentative agreement that may go over better than the version that failed narrowly two weeks ago. According to a statement from the paper, the new agreement saves the same amount of money and does away with layoff protection for employees but the wage cut is smaller than the 8.4 percent in the previous offer. It’s also much smaller than the 23 percent currently being withheld from nearly 700 paychecks by the company because the previous vote failed.

The union already has scheduled the next vote for July 20. One big change, if I’m reading this right: the Guild is recommending a “yes” vote; last time, it offered no recommendation. In fact, Executive Director Daniel Totten sent out a letter full of charged language that may have added to the defeat. Late Tuesday night, Totten told the Globe: “It’s been an exhausting process, a very difficult process for the members.”

The proposed cut this time is 5.9 percent, according to the Globe, but the five-day unpaid furlough is still included, making it closer to 8 percent instead of the 10 percent in the last version. The 23 percent pay cut remains in effect but, if the agreement passes, will be offset by a one-time cut in the company contribution to health care costs.

Last time, less than 500 of the union’s members voted and the measure lost by 12 votes. Maybe this time, more people will show up.

Globe statement: The Boston Globe is pleased to have reached a tentative agreement with the Boston Newspaper Guild. The tentative agreement enables the Globe to save $10 million and achieve the same type of modification to the job guarantee provision as was agreed to by other Globe unions. At the same time, it provides Guild members with smaller wage reductions than those in the previous proposal. Other parts of the contract will be modified to increase savings that offset the lower wage reduction.