COMPANY OFFERS BUYOUTS;
79 IN GUILD MAY BE ELIGIBLE
Providence Journal has offered Guild bargaining unit members buyouts
reported to be on the same basis as other workers in the company.
union's executive board voted today to seek a meeting with the company
to discuss unclear points about the proposal.
plan was faxed to the Guild Wednesday, and filled out in conversations
between Tim Schick, Guild administrator, and Tom McDonough, Journal
human resources director.
the union understands the company's proposal, it would work this way:
Full-time workers 55 years and older are eligible.
The incentive is 1 month's pay for each year worked, up to a maximum
of 18 months. The payment, calculated on pay exclusive of merit or
differentials, is to be made a lump sum Jan. 1, 2001, or over time
as an annuity.
Participants would leave work immediately, but would receive pay,
with medical benefits, through the end of the year. The buyout incentive
would be in addition to the remaining year 2001 paychecks.
There would be no medical benefits after 2001, other than the federally-required
"COBRA" benefits, which allow individuals to buy health
insurance at the group rate paid by the company for 1-1/2 years.
After receiving buyout packages, workers would have 45 days to sign.
After signing, workers would have 7 days in which to change their
are a number of questions that Guild officials have about the meaning
of the complex documents that were provided the union.
said that the company will discuss the matter with the union, although
his Oct. 3 letter to the Guild notifying the union of the program said
the offer will be withdrawn if the union does not agree to it by Friday,
union would like workers who leave under the buyout to be eligible for
as many benefits as possible.
past years, for example, buyout bonuses have been calculated on the
basis of total compensation, which includes merit pay and shift differentials.
executive board appointed a subcommittee to meet with the company: Bob
Jagolinzer, union president, Paul Davis, Felice Freyer, Del St. Jean
answer to rumors that the company is seeking to eliminate 160 jobs through
this voluntary buyout, McDonough told Schick that report is "not
Guild estimates there are 79 of its members eligible by virtue of the
age limit. It has been told by the company there are 87 people in non-Guild
areas: managers, members of the Teamsters and Pressmen's unions, and
if everyone eligible leaves, 166 people would have left at the end of
the program. The Guild has 500 workers in its bargaining units. Employment
company-wide is 1,100.