When MediaNews Group decided it would no longer recognize the Guild as the representative of its employees at its ANG newspapers, it also stopped deducting union dues from those workers' paychecks. So the Guild has announced that effective immediately dues for all employees in that unit will be reduced to a flat $12 a month, regardless of salary. Previously the dues were 1.659 percent of an employee's after-tax pay. "This money, plus lots more from the local and international union, will be financing our union-building campaign," the Guild says on its Web site.
The ANG unit covers about 125 workers, and "almost 80 of those are dues-paying members," said Carl Hall, a Chronicle reporter who heads the Guild's local unit in a Aug. 14 Chron story. MediaNews has merged the ANG reporters with 170 non-union newsroom employees from the Contra Costa Times.
The Guild says:
Even as we fight to protect our 20-year-old unit’s negotiating rights, we have begun discussions with our Contra Costa Times colleagues to gauge interest in expanding our unit and bargaining power. We’re explaining to them that we need a strong voice to deal with Dean Singleton and his cronies. The new BANG “umbrella” means a lot of changes — and promises management may be making now won’t necessarily be remembered six months from now. Only by sticking together can we have a fair chance at meaningful raises, improved benefits, and protection against arbitrary firings. Already, we’re seeing that [Contra Costa Times] people understand why we need to find common ground — and fast!
Guild cuts dues to $12/month for ANG unit