Nearly three dozen Guild-represented workers at the York Daily Reporter/Sunday News have ratified a three-year contract that granted an immediate 1.5 percent wage increase, with another 1.5 percent wage hike set for July 2017.
The agreement is the first to be signed under Gannett’s ownership of the south-central Pennsylvania daily. Among other highlights are paid parental leave – a first for YDR staff – and improvements to healthcare coverage.
“We are conforming to Gannett’s health insurance plans,” said Unit Chair Hafiz Rashid. “This will likely lead to reduced premiums for Guild members on both employee-only and family plans.”
Guild members on plans such as employee-plus-spouse will pay a slightly larger share. “These Guild members’ premiums will increase $10 to $20 per month per the 2016 rates,” Rashid said. “And if you opt out of the health plan, you won’t get back 25 percent of the premium as you did before.”
Rashid noted that Guild bargainers were able to retain night-differential pay and an attempt to change qualifications for overtime. “We fought off these and other regressive proposals,” he said, “as well as an attempt to reduce the mileage rate.”
Gannett purchased the Daily Reporter/Sunday News and four other Pennsylvania newspapers in June 2015.
The Guild bargaining team was composed of Rashid, Chris Dunn, Abigail Geiger, Gordon Rago, and WBNG Executive Director Cet Parks. The agreement was unanimously ratified Aug. 10.