We learned today that members of the Waterville Typographical Union, which represents workers at the Kennebec Journal, have approved a contract with the company.
It is a four-year deal with a 5 percent raise the first year followed by a pay freeze (including freezing step increases), and a wage re-opener after two years.
Severance has been cut in half (16 weeks) in the event suspension of publication and eliminated altogether for part-time employees.
The agreement also calls for significant concessions. It allows the company to consider factors other than seniority when determining the order of layoffs. It allows the company to outsource any work without limitation.
The new contract gives the company the authority to unilaterally end its commitment to pay 80 percent of health insurance premiums as long as the union percentage matches what is offered to non represented employees.
All advertising account representatives will be paid on a commission-only basis, and the terms of all commission-only plans can be changed at the exclusive discretion of the company.
It's important to remember that this deal was negotiated by a different union with different concerns than ours. It is a much smaller unit with fewer job classifications.
This agreement has no legal bearing on the Guild's ongoing negotiations with the company, in which we will continue to represent our members' priorities for a new contract. The success of the Guild Negotiations Committee relies on the ability of all Guild members to maintain solidarity. The Negotiations Committee appreciates the support you have shown so far, and we know we can count on you when necessary.