Time Inc. employees who are members of the NewsGuild voted to accept the publisher’s offer to settle matters between them and enter into a collective bargaining agreement consistent with the terms of the settlement agreement. The NewsGuild represents approximately 200 print editorial employees at Time, Fortune, Money, Sports Illustrated and People. The Guild represents nearly 3,000 journalists and other employees in the New York area.
Time Inc. Guild members had been at a standstill with their employer, after contract negotiations had fallen through. As a result, Guild members had been working without a contract since it expired in August 2014.
Time Inc. had imposed the terms of its last, best and final offer in November 2014 asserting that the parties were at impasse. The impasse was related to the fact that a deal would impact about 200 newsroom staffers, by sending the jobs overseas. Time Inc.’s 2014 offer entailed wage increases of 2.5 percent for 2014 and 2015, and a 1 percent rise for 2016. There was also a bonus clause for certain employees depending on the duration of their service.
At the time of the rejected offer, the New York-based publisher said: “It’s essential for Time Inc. that any agreement with the Newspaper Guild recognizes the new realities of the media industry, which has changed dramatically and continues to rapidly evolve.”
Whether impasse had been reached was a subject of a National Labor Relations Board hearing, which was decided in the Time Inc.’s favor in August 2016.
“We are very pleased that the Guild members have ratified this contract, which we believe to be in the best interest of all Time Inc. stakeholders. The contract provides Time Inc. with the operational flexibility necessary to succeed in today’s transformative media environment,” said Greg Giangrande, Time Inc.’s executive vice president and chief human resources officer.
Time Inc. declined to provide further details on the agreement, but the NewsGuild did.
The Guild said on Friday afternoon that the revised settlement offer was approved by a 3-to-1 margin, and said that it is dropping its appeal of the NLRB’s ruling. The new deal stipulates that employees will receive raises totaling 14 percent over the term of the new contract, which expires on March 31, 2019, a year longer than Time Inc. offered in June. Additionally, all bargaining unit employees will get a $2,500 signing bonus.
According to the Guild, the contract entitles employees who are laid off in certain cases, such as subcontracting, out-of-seniority layoffs, or layoffs conducted without first seeking volunteers, to receive an extra week of severance pay for each year of service. The new deal will also cover digital staffers who spend more than 30 percent of their time on print work.