Salary and hourly workers at the Winnipeg Free Press ratified a tentative agreement on Saturday, May 13, that incorporates the ‘Made In Manitoba Solution’ as an addendum to the collective agreement.
Terms of the deal extend the collective agreement to June 30, 2019, provide a trigger for a potential wage reduction in April 2018 in the event free cash flow falls below a specified target, a no-layoff guarantee for the duration of the extended contract (unless the paper eliminates a daily edition), and provides the Union with a representative on the FPLP board of directors.
“This was a strong endorsement by the members for an arrangement that saves jobs and gives the paper some financial breathing room,” said Local 191 president Aldo Santin. “Given how other newspapers across the country are dealing with the turmoil in the industry, the vote is a reflection that our members recognize this as a good deal.”
While the collective agreement did not expire until June 30, 2018, members at a March 5 meeting authorized a special bargaining committee to meet with the Employer to see if a unique solution could be arrived at that protected members’ interests while meeting the Employer’s financial troubles.
The committee met with the Employer over three days in late April and reached a tentative agreement on the afternoon of April 28.
Santin said having a union representative on the board of FPLP will ensure members' concerns are brought directly to those individuals charting the paper's future.
A pdf of the Agreement can be downloaded here and will also be posted on the Contract Page of the Local 191 website.
Highlights of the Agreement include:
- A No-layoff clause for duration of agreement (except if Free Press eliminates a daily edition).
- Contract extended to June 30, 2019.
- Union will have representative on FPLP board of directors.
- All concessions agreed to also apply to management and non-union staff at the Free Press.
- Wage decrease does not apply to those who make $15 an hour or less, or to 100 % commission sales workers. The agreement does not affect WFP Carriers or members at the Brandon Sun.
- No one’s wage would be reduced to below $15 an hour.
- The wage increase in the Collective Agreement for July 1, 2017 shall be 0.75%.
- When free cash falls below $800,000, an 8% wage reduction occurs (4% for Tier 2 employees).
- When free cash returns above $800,000, wages return to full pay.
- Once a wage reduction has occurred there shall be no other reduction until an employee is returned to full wages.
- The first reduction will be no sooner than April 1, 2018.
- All other provisions of the Collective Agreement apply.