Thursday, 31 May 2007

Pre-press deal

The Southern Ontario Newsmedia Guild has negotiated a four-year contract for 35 Toronto Sun pre-press employees, with one outstanding issue to be resolved by an arbitrator this summer.

The agreement would give pre-press employees their first contract, Their responsibilities include ad building, photo image enhancing, proofing images before they are etched onto plates, information technology etc.

(Pardon this media dinosaur for previously mixing pressroom employees with pre-press. The 100 full-time and part-time pressroom workers are not unionized and it is their jobs that are at risk with the opening of the new Quebecor printing plant this summer.)

Brad Honywill, one busy president of CEP Local 87-M (SONG), has chalked up four contract settlements in three weeks: London Free Press editorial, Ottawa Sun editorial, Simcoe Reformer editorial and Toronto Sun pre-press.

Brad says the pre-press agreement was reached Wednesday after a full day of talks at the offices of the provincial ministry of labour.

"All items were resolved except for the contentious issue of wages for the 20 people whose salaries are overscale," Brad told TSF. "The union wants the salaries to be green-circled (maintained with cost of living increases) and the company wants to cut them back to market rates. The company has agreed to refer that issue to first contract arbitration.

He said a ministry of labour arbitrator will hear submissions from the two sides on the Toronto Sun pre-press wage issue later this summer and release a decision soon after. Until the arbitrator releases his decision, no dues will be collected.

"So far, while strike votes have been necessary, we're pleased that we've been able to reach deals in four out of five Sun Media units without walking out.

"That's only been possible because of the courage shown by members who have been willing to stand behind their bargaining teams and the skill of our professional negotiators."

Details of the pre-press deal will be released at a 5:30 p.m. membership information meeting next Thursday at the union office, 1253 Queen Street.

Still not settled - contract negotiations at Sun Media's Stratford Beacon-Herald Advertising unit.

Brad said SONG staff rep Howard Law is continuing the Stratford bargaining marathon today.

No comments:

Post a Comment