The New York Times (NYT) will be offering buyouts to some of its employees as a way to save money, the Newspaper Guild announced last night. Details are still being worked out.
The union also said the paper will restore salaries to their previous level starting January 1, 2010. Staffers took a 5% pay cut in March to help the company slog through the tough times.
Here’s the relevant bit via Romenesko:
In response to a proposal by New York Guild President Bill O’Meara, Times Senior Vice President of Operations and labour Terry Hayes said the company would agree to offer a voluntary buyout. However, both also agreed that further discussions would be necessary to work out the parameters of the program, including such factors as eligibility, timing and the number of buyouts available. Hayes added that The Times was agreeable to a buyout “because the Guild and its members ‘stepped up’ to help the newspaper” by agreeing to the temporary pay reduction a few months ago.
When asked about the pay reduction, Hayes said Guild members are “guaranteed” to have their money restored on January 1, 2010, as specified in the agreement negotiated by the Guild.
Also at the meeting, Guild committee members presented a list of ideas to help the company save money in a variety of ways, such as more flexible use of compensatory time, bringing back the four-day workweek (for five days pay), and even reducing the massive amount of paper used in the building. The Guild also introduced several ideas on how its members may be able to help increase circulation.
It should be noted that the meeting took place in a spirit of cooperation between the Guild and management. Hayes said, “We all need to work together in this economic environment.” O’Meara agreed, adding that the Guild was committed to helping to make sure that The Times remains successful.