Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Negotiations, Round 1

Contract negotiations began today at the Daily News, with both the union and management trading opening proposals regarding workplace conditions. Kerry Kandel and Brent Hopkins from the bargaining team, Vicki DiPaolo from the union and longtime union activist Evan Yee sat on our side, while Dave Butler, labor relations vice president Jim Janiga and human resources director Laurie Knight represented the company.

Things got off to a good start, with the union proposing some reasonable changes to the current contract, including two additional holidays, adding reimbursement for professional development and protection against workforce reduction. Janiga responded quickly and seemed amenable to many of our requests, though his counter-proposal was merely an extension of the current contract for another three years. Both sides expressed a desire to build upon the relationship that has developed between management and workers in the previous three years.

We'll meet again in early July, the first of three more scheduled negotiations, when we'll discuss wages and other economic issues. While that will likely be a tougher series of discussions, we look at today's session as an extremely positive beginning. We believe that with your support and continued good rapport with management negotiators, we'll bring back a stronger, better contract that will make life easier for all of us.

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment on what you'd like to see in future sessions. We'd like this to be an open forum for discussion, but if you have private concerns to address, please send them to afropic@hotmail.com and we'll give them a look.


Blogger Steven Rosenberg said...

Are you asking for specific holidays to be added?

1:33 PM  
Blogger Oxnard St. said...

We asked for Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday and a second floating holiday. Our argument was that with MLK as a federal holiday, there's so little news breaking that a full staff isn't required, and that an extra floater would be easier for them to administrate since not everyone would be off the same day. They didn't seem incredibly enthusiastic, but I think we've got good reasoning and leverage, so we'll see...

6:14 AM  

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