After compensation negotiations with management reached an impasse, New York Times union members are considering going on strike.
According to Business Insider, the union, also known as the New York Times Guild, is requesting an eight percent annual raise for the next four years, citing the rising cost of living.
The management opposed the union’s proposal with a raise of four percent for the first year, two percent for the next two years, and one percent based on merit.
Union members objected to management’s counteroffer, claiming it would amount to a salary decrease in light of record-high inflation. The Guild also believes that the publication can withstand the pay hike due to its acquisition of the Athletic and Worldle, as well as its almost ten million paid subscribers.
Ken Draper, a sports reporter for the Times, felt that the union’s proposal was “very reasonable,” citing the paper’s increase in executive compensation and stockholder dividends.
A representative for the newspaper dismissed the union’s accusations, stating that their proposal “far exceeds the boundaries of any organization, particularly in such an uncertain economic context.”
In addition, the spokesperson warned that the newspaper’s investment in journalism may be hampered by excessive compensation expenditures.
According to another Time’s correspondent, a walkout among writers may be approaching if the two parties are unable to come to an agreement.
Frances Robles, a Florida-based correspondent, told the Insider, “I think people feel that management doesn’t listen until everyone is beside themselves and ready to walk out the door, so if that’s what it takes, then that’s what it takes.”
Robles stated that she does not intend to go on strike and that she believes a deal can be reached.
The last salary rise for union members occurred in March 2020, as the last union contract expired in March of last year.
Pearl Meyer reports that this year’s national average yearly salary increase was 4.8%, the greatest gain for workers in a decade. In contrast, union members at the Times are requesting an 8% boost. In August, however, inflation was measured at 8.3%, well exceeding the average annual income rise.
The negotiations between management and the union are generating headaches in the newsroom of the New York Times, with one unidentified editor telling the Insider, “It’s not a distraction, it’s the distraction.”
According to Breitbart News, it is the latest diversion between the two sides after more than 1,300 Times employees signed a pledge promising not to return to the workplace after the paper asked they do so three days per week. The employees demanded a wage raise to combat the rising cost of living.
Breitbart News claimed that the union has accused the newspaper of handing non-white employees poorer job performance ratings than their white counterparts.