Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Reformer settles

Unionized Simcoe Reformer employees ratified a new contract yesterday, giving them a 2% pay hike in each of the three years.

The Southern Ontario Newsmedia Guild reached the tentative agreement with Quebecor following three months of negotiations.

Dan Pearce, SONG unit rep, said the vote by 17 of the 18 reporters, editors, ad reps, paginators and front office workers was 15-2 in favour of accepting the offer.

The new contract, retroactive to Jan. 1, also provides improvements to the severance formula and to the gas mileage rate. As well, some lowly-paid employees were given pay increases beyond their grid placings.

"It is a second contract for the 18 employees," Dan said. "A strike was narrowly avoided during negotiations three years ago."

The Reformer is published five days a week and was acquired by Sun Media in the fall of 2003.

It was the third Quebecor-owned newspaper to settle contract negotiations in three weeks. The Ottawa Sun ratified a four-year contract and the London Free Press voted in favour of a new three-year contract.

"We have two more to go - Stratford Advertising and Toronto Sun pre-press," Brad Honywill, president of CEP Local 87-M (SONG), told TSF.

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