Vol XI, No. 40TNG/CWA Local 31041April 24, 2000

An Advertising Guide for Work-to-Rule

How does the advertising department work-to-rule?

Here's a World Class guide.

Overall, we should put in the work that the contract demands, but no more.

In considering a work-to-rule program, the union wants management to appreciate the value of our labor.

And that includes the many extras that workers bring to their jobs: the enthusiasm, imagination, creativity and willingness to contribute 101 percent.

It's that extra part that we are proposing to hold back in an attempt to create more incentive by the company's negotiators to reach agreement at the bargaining table.

This is not a strike or a walkout. It's a common sense plan to make it more cumbersome and expensive for the company to publish the paper.

These are meant as suggestions. The actual activity might be different. But these ideas are designed to give members an idea of what's in store for the company, and to promote discussion.


Schedule your day however you see fit
Don't feel you need to be in the office at certain times or even often. You won't have to say 'no' to customers who want to see you first thing in the morning or at the end of the day.

And you'll have a better chance of getting a parking space at off-peak hours, and, at off-peak times, you'll be saving wear and tear on your car. Feel free to use the news bureaus - they tend to be very accommodating (phone, bathroom, even computer terminals).

Manage your accounts
If customers call in space after deadline, sell them into another day or pass on the ad. You will help them become more conscious of deadlines, and you won't have to work after quitting time.

Customer problems
Whenever a customer has a problem, give them the phone numbers of the managers in that area. Insist that they call Extension 7119 with corrections.

Work day
Start your day on time. And leave at your scheduled time. Take scheduled breaks and meal times. Put in for overtime for any after-hours functions. Whenever there are revenue celebrations, don't feel obligated to stay after 5 p.m. And always: submit weekly mileage reports.


Work carefully
When taking an ad, use the time necessary to get it right. There is nothing more annoying that having something wrong in an ad. Have you read the ad back to the customer? Does he or she need to hear it again? Did you specify similar-sounding letters: b-Boston, v-Victor? Make sure that the customer is getting everything she or he wants.

Don't take short cuts
Make sure everyone has a chance to do their jobs in full. For example, when picking up proofs, should you bring back not only your own, but those of others? Probably no, since it would be depriving them of the opportunity to make the same trip.

Take all breaks
There's a temptation on a busy day to work through lunch or skip breaks. But it's not a healthy practice over time. Make sure you eat on time. A break is a work-healthy practice when working for hours at a computer. Be timely about your work. You shouldn't be late for work, but that doesn't mean starting early. And quitting time should be observed.


The union membership is scheduled to vote on a proposed work-to-rule plan this Wednesday - April 26.

A key question is that if the program is approved, when will it take effect?

The answer: as soon as the executive board decides to go forward with it.

This will not be until after the May 3 bargaining session.

Work-to-rule is one of several efforts by the Guild to bring about an acceptable settlement to the contract.

If the negotiations begin to move forward May 3, it may not be necessary to begin the work-to-rule program.

On the other hand, if talks fail to progress, the plan could start soon afterwards.

Right now, this seems the more likely course of action.

The company's behavior in bargaining has been disappointing, to say the least.

The last session was held March 17, at which the company briefed Guild negotiators about a new pension program that the Belo Corporation is preparing to begin throughout the company.

However, the company did not offer the program to the Guild.

Nevertheless, the Guild asked the company for detailed information about pension issues, so it could evaluate whether the new Belo plan might appeal to the union.

The company responded about two weeks later with a surprisingly hostile letter, in which it declared that the new retirement program "is not being offered to the Guild," and accusing the Guild of demanding too much information.

This seemed to be a backwards move on the company's part, since the company had asked the federal mediator to arrange that March 17 session, saying that it was "looking for a way to break the impasse."

The Guild doesn't think that there is an impasse in the legal sense of the word, but did see the March 17 session as a positive development, since pension issues are one of the sticking points of the current talks.

In order to keep the talks going, the Guild later asked the mediator, Paul Chabot, to schedule another negotiating session.

The company's response to the request for another meeting did not provide reason for optimism: the earliest the company was willing to meet was nearly three weeks after the request was made - and even that date came with a late start to the talks, in the mid-afternoon instead of in the morning.

One of the things the Guild will be watching for at the upcoming session is the direction the talks seem to be taking.

In turn, that would guide the executive board's decision on when to start work-to-rule.


Today, Monday, the Guild will hold its last of four lunches to discuss the upcoming work-to-rule vote Wednesday, April 26. It will go from noon to 1 p.m. at the Guild office, 270 Westminster St.

Those who haven't been able to get to these mid-day forums are encouraged to call Tim Schick, Guild administrator, to arrange a one-to-one meeting. Also, members should seek out the Executive Board: Bob Jagolinzer, president; Jeff Andrade, vice president; John Hill, secretary; Greg Smith, treasurer; also Tom Bunn, Felice Freyer, Bill Hopkins, Kerry Kohring, Claire LaRue, Ellen Liberman and Steve Sloan.

Copyright © 2000 The Providence Newspaper Guild
TNG/CWA Local 31041
270 Westmister St., Providence, Rhode Island 02903
401-421-9466 | Fax: 401-421-9495