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Guild walks out at Star-Telegram

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by FileNotFound, Nov 29, 2022.

  1. SportsGuyBCK

    SportsGuyBCK Active Member

    All newspaper executives go to the Peter Griffin School of Negotiation ... except when it comes to their "golden parachutes" -- they bring in real pros to handle that ... :D
    2muchcoffeeman likes this.
  2. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    I wonder if the guild could get that floor with the trade off of, as odd as this sounds, entry level new writers agreeing they won’t leave for a period of years.

    Because let’s say you get a good young writer covering whatever. Does he or she want to stay at the S-T for any length of time, or do they have their eye on a bigger market - - or a nonprofit - the minute they have a good week?

    The idea behind better pay, isn’t just because of some moral right, but because it creates, in theory, stability. If I hiked up pay scale doesn’t actually create stability, then there’s not a ton of point in it.
    Batman likes this.
  3. FileNotFound

    FileNotFound Well-Known Member

    But that contract would have to work both directions, and when McClatchy feels like it needs to tighten its belt again, it’s not going to give up the flexibility to lay off young reporters.
  4. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    I think that’s fair, but companies rarely want to lay off the cheapest employees. Guilds generally - not always but generally - like some component of a “first in, first out” approach to protect long-timers 5/7 years from retirement. Which I get and agree with.

    One challenge in the industry is how anything below, say, NYT/post keeps young writers. Many bounce around to 3, 4, 5 jobs over 6-7 years irrespective of the beats they cover. If you give those writers a super high floor without any sense of protection for longevity - what’s the point?
  5. FileNotFound

    FileNotFound Well-Known Member

    Pay them well, treat them well, and focus on hiring people who have connections to the community, and they’ll stick around. This is part of the damage done over the last 50 years of the Gannett-ization of local news, the idea that communities can be served by dropping people in random places rather than putting a premium on people with roots in the place they’re covering, and by telling them that the only way they can advance and grow in their careers is to leave.
    2muchcoffeeman likes this.
  6. justgladtobehere

    justgladtobehere Well-Known Member

    This is the argument that should be made instead of any cost of living argument. Wages aren't determined wholly by the employee's living costs. The dominant factor is the value to the employer.
  7. Matt Stephens

    Matt Stephens Well-Known Member

    I'm not confident that's a true counter by McClatchy; $45,000 is (or had been) the company-wide floor for T1 and T2 newsrooms, with $42,000 being the floor for smaller newsrooms.
    JM22720 likes this.
  8. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    When McClatchy reorganized its non-guild Publishing Center a few years ago (before the great outsourcing), they wiped out all current salaries and created two tiers: $45,000 for about 20 people, $40,000 for about 60 people.

    28-year veteran making $62,000? Sorry, you're getting $40,000 or $45,000.
    16-year veteran making $53,000? Sorry, you're getting $40,000 or $45,000.
    Newcomer making $32,000? Congratulations, you get a raise!
  9. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    Rigid payscales based on experience/seniority always have struck me as kinda odd. Long after I'd left newspapers as a career, the fairly prominent (at the time) daily in my town was looking for a primary slot person in sports. I thought (ridiculously wrongly in retrospect) that might work as a means of support for my doctoral studies, so I applied. I would have been fine in the role. In fact, I would have been more than fine seeing as how I had no ambitions to ease back into writing, etc. I'd do the slot and that would be it. Apparently, the ME agreed and we began to talk money.

    "We have this scale, and we can pay you $X."
    "I can make that working part-time doing A or B."
    "Yes, but our scale ..."
    "OK, nice talking with you."

    He actually got mad!
  10. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    If McClatchy offered 45K then they were offering a salary freeze. Given the economic state of the industry and who owns McClatchy I find it entirely credible that the company did not offer a freeze. As long journalism schools keep pumping out graduates who will work for that wage McClatchy can get away with this strategy.
  11. Regan MacNeil

    Regan MacNeil Well-Known Member

  12. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Dec 1, 2022
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