June 24, 2009

Boston Globe, union, reach agreement

Officials of the Newspaper Guild in Boston have reached a tentative agreement with The Boston Globe that could end months of acrimonious negotiations.

Union members voted down a previous contract agreement that would have saved the company $10 million in operational costs. The new agreement also saves The New York Times Co., owners of the Globe, $10 million, but shifts savings from a steeper salary cut offered in the first agreement to reductions of other benefits, The Boston Globe reported Wednesday.

The Times said months ago it needed to cut $20 million in costs to save the 137-year old Boston newspaper. The Newspaper Guild is the final Globe union holdout on accepting cuts. It is also the largest union at the newspaper with more than 700 members.

The Times imposed a 23 percent pay cut on Guild members when the first agreement failed to pass a union vote June 8. The pay cut in the new agreement is set at 5.9 percent.

Globe publisher P. Steven Ainsley said the goal was to cut costs with the least hardship for our employees

"Although I can't speak for everyone, I think this deal will pass. Everyone wants this over,'' said reporter Beth Daley.