Vol XV, Issue 5 TNG/CWA Local 31041 March 10, 2004
New parking program starts March 22

Next change: Retirement plans

Contract implementation will continue through the spring and early summer as the company prepares to rollout changes in the pension and 401k plans August 1.

Under the contract, the retirement plan changes take effect six months after the agreement takes effect.

The current pension and 401k plans will be changed. Current employees will have the option of going into the Belo pension and 401k plans or, switching to an enhanced 401k plan (known as the "Star Plan" without a pension component (other than the benefits that have accrued as of July 31.)

Either way, there will be a change. The Belo pension and 401k plans are generally more generous than the old Journal plans.

The Company plans to have meetings between Guild members and Belo officials familiar with the retirement plans and distribute written material in advance of the change to assist employees in making their selection.

Newly hired employees will not be offered a choice. They will be placed in the "Star Plan."

The company has informed the Guild that the new contract's parking provisions for downtown staffers working at least 22.5 hours a week will take effect March 22.

Free parking for downtown members is something the Guild has been pressing the company about for more than 15 years. The reaction to those efforts had been disappointing, but this time the company's response has been to go beyond what it was legally required to do.

The contract as signed called for 150 spaces, but it turned out 165 eligible members applied for parking. Though they would have been perfectly within their rights to stop at 150 spaces, management went beyond its legal obligations to us in accommodating the extra requests.

It was an action that was welcomed by the Guild leadership.

"After the signing of the contract, Publisher Howard Sutton said he hoped to build a new relationship with the Guild membership,'' Guild President John Hill said. "Since then, the company has been saying all the right things, this is tangible evidence that they mean it. These extra spaces could save 15 more Guild members as much as $40 a week. The company's action was a very welcome surprise."

In addition to the parking, 18 Guild members have opted for free bus passes. A total of 35 bus passes are available under the contract.


Copyright © 2004 The Providence Newspaper Guild
TNG/CWA Local 31041
270 Westmister St., Providence, Rhode Island 02903
401-421-9466 | Fax: 401-421-9495