DENVER NEWSPAPER GUILD and Denver Post representatives met July 25.
Over the course of the day, the company and union exchanged multiple proposals and counter proposals covering all remaining issues. The two big issues are outsourcing of the inbound (customer service) and outbound (retention) circulation call centers and the pay rates for circulation home delivery and single copy employees.
In order to reach agreement on the full contract, The Post continues to insist that any agreement must include the amount of savings from the circulation call centers that they can achieve by sending that work to Honduras. After months of trying to negotiate an agreement that would keep the call center work at the Post, but reduce costs enough to be competitive with a Central American call center, it has become clear that the math just will not work. So the union presented a proposal accepting the outsourcing of the call center work in exchange for additional compensation and benefits for those who will be displaced but will continue working until their job is eliminated, increased compensation for call center employees who are retained and a timeline for the transition of work to Honduras. Most of the details have been tentatively agreed to. The timeline and a few benefits issues are not yet resolved.
The outsourcing likely will result in the elimination of more than 30 local call center employees’ jobs, leaving two full-time employees and five part-time employees.
A tentative agreement was reached concerning pay cuts in the home delivery department. Pay for District Managers and Assistant District Managers will be cut to the 2009 concession rates, a 7.5 percent cut for District Managers and 6.75 percent cut for Assistant District Managers. The amount of pay cuts for some single copy employees has not yet been agreed to.
Mileage reimbursement for those who use their personal car for work will be reduced to 15 cents below the IRS rate.
Under provisions that have been tentatively agreed to and proposals still being negotiated, very little will change for most Guild-covered employees. Wages, pension, insurance benefits and sick leave will remain unchanged.
Subjects that have not yet been resolved include:
- The length of the new contract
- Some jurisdiction issues
- Union security
- Part-time eligibility for health insurance
- A few call center issues
- Single copy pay
The next bargaining session is scheduled for Aug. 9.