Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Monday, April 13, 2009

NO DEAL, SO PLAIN ARBITRATION?

Posted By on Mon, Apr 13, 2009 at 11:24 PM

The Plain Dealer’s editorial labor union, The Northeast Ohio Newspaper Guild Local 1, has filed three grievances against the paper. If a settlement is not reached this week, the matter could go to arbitration. “Our positions appear to be unresolvable,” says Newspaper Guild Executive Secretary Rollie Dreussi.

14fd/1239679904-plain-dealer-logo.gifIn the first and biggest issue, the union claims that the December layoffs of 27 editorial staff included senior employees who should have been protected by the labor contract. “We don’t feel seniority was taken into account at all,” says Dreussi. PD management did not respond to Scene’s request for comment.

A separate point claims that non-discrimination language about age was not followed in determining which employees were let go. “Older and more experienced employees were laid off,” says Dreussi. “So we’re contending [the PD has] discriminated on the basis of age — and, maybe, union activity.”

In another issue, the Guild says managers (mostly editors) are doing the work of laid-off employees and active union members, from copy editing to page design, in violation of the labor agreement. This complaint includes the creation of some online material. The union contract says online work belongs to union members. But the contract has some vague provisions that allow non-union employees — from freelancers to managers — to contribute to exclusively “online venues” such as blogs, podcasts or chatrooms.

In March, PD management cut non-union employees’ pay and instituted mandatory 10-day furloughs. The cutbacks affect over a third of PD employees. Management has not presented the Guild with similar concessions.

If the grievances are resolved in the union’s favor, some jobs from the December cuts could be reinstated.

“We don’t want to see anybody laid off or see other people kicked out the door,” says Guild Union Chair Harlan Spector. “My position is: we need to defend the contract. … I’d like to see some people get their job back without costing some people their jobs. … The fact is: there’s not enough of us to do the work that’s required.” — D.X. Ferris

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 9, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation