Thursday, 24 May 2007

Ottawa settles

The Ottawa Sun's 32 editors, reporters and photographers have voted 100% to accept a first contract that will give them 2% wage hikes in each of the four years.

Other highlights of the four-year deal for the CEP members include a signing bonus for all members, immediate increases for some employees who had fallen behind their colleagues and improved kilometre rates and cell phone allowances.

The contract also provides protection against arbitrary discipline or dismissal, gives seniority protection in layoffs, a grievance procedure and training in new multimedia technology.

A tentative agreement with Sun Media was reached Wednesday, just hours before a midnight lockout/strike deadline. The vote on the company's new offer was held today.

“It was a tough bargaining process, but we are pleased that the employer listened to our concerns and presented a package that we could recommend to our members,” said bargaining committee chair Rob Ludlow.

“The Ottawa Sun operates in a highly competitive media environment and as professional journalists we look forward to using this new foundation and predictable period of labour stability to continue to provide a variety of quality news products,” he said.

Newsroom workers organized 17 months ago and it took more than three dozen days of bargaining over that period of time to achieve this first contract, he said.

The new contract and a Stanley Cup series with the Ottawa Senators in action bodes well for a positive summer at the Ottawa Sun.

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