Guild to discuss layoffs with Reuters leaders
by Chris Roush
The New York Newspaper Guild, which represents journalists at Reuters, sent out the following announcement to its members:
Thomson Reuters management notified the Guild on Tuesday that it wants to eliminate nine Guild-covered positions – five in television and print Editorial and four in technical – by the end of March.
The total consists of three Editorial television jobs at 3 Times Square and another one in Washington, as well as a print Editorial job inAtlanta, where management says it intends to close the bureau. The four technical positions are all controller jobs at the Hauppauge (New York) Technical Center.
Our contract (Article XVI – Employment Security) has several protections for employees whose jobs are being eliminated, including:
- Management must seek volunteers in order of seniority to reduce the size of the workforce before resorting to involuntary layoffs in inverse order of seniority.
- If there are not enough volunteers to meet management’s job-cutting goals, all temporary, part-time and other non-regular employees working in the same or similar job classifications as the affected employees must be dismissed before any full-time regular Guild-covered employee can be laid off.
- Affected employees must be offered other “suitable available jobs,” even if the jobs require some training, relocation, or are outside Guild jurisdiction.
The Guild has long maintained that Editorial is one nationwide department and that an employee facing layoff can displace the least senior employee in the same job title, even if that employee works in another location.
If any Guild-covered employees are laid off or volunteer to resign, they will get two weeks of severance pay per year of service, with a minimum of 12 weeks and a maximum of 52, paid biweekly, plus medical insurance for the entire severance term. They also will be on a rehiring list for six months.
For the technical employees, the Guild bargained hard in the 2011 contract negotiations for enhanced severance, as we recognized these colleagues were more vulnerable than other Guild members at Thomson Reuters. Any Guild members from Technical Operations who are laid off will receive three weeks’ pay for each year of service, plus an additional 19 weeks, plus extended medical coverage and outplacement assistance.
The Guild is scheduling a meeting with management to discuss the proposed layoffs. We’ll report back as more information becomes available.