52 in Guild Take the Buyout
A total of 52 people represented by the Guild have accepted the company's buyout offer, taking away a collective 1,603 years of experience.
This exodus of talent leaves few people older than 60 at the Journal and guts the newspaper's institutional memory and knowledge base.
Of those who took buyouts, 30 worked in advertising and 22 in editorial. The average early retiree was aged 61 and had 31 years' experience. Some had worked for the Journal for more than 44 years.
In October, the Journal offered an early-retirement package to all employees aged 55 and older, including 79 people in the Guild bargaining unit. (Photographer Jimmy Molloy, who retired before the buyout offer was made, was also provided the same package retroactively; if you count Molloy the buyout was offered to 80 and had 53 takers.)
The package provided one month's pay for each month's employment up to 18 months. It did not include health insurance, requiring retirees to either rely on spouses' coverage or pay for health insurance under COBRA.
Despite the package's limitations, two-thirds of those eligible in the Guild took the buyout. They were joined by 42 non-Guild employees, including members of management who also opted for early retirement.
Coming at a time when employees of all ages have been leaving for other jobs, the high participation in the early retirement program was seen by many as the starkest evidence yet of plummeting morale and deepening malaise as Guild workers head toward their third year without a contract.
The retirement packages for Guild members will cost the company $3.5 million.
The buyout accelerates a brain drain that continues among younger workers, with more than 60 departing over the past couple of years.
TNG/CWA Local 31041
270 Westmister St., Providence, Rhode Island 02903
401-421-9466 | Fax: 401-421-9495