Monday, April 06, 2009

It’s getting kinda hectic around here.

All around us, we’re seeing the ruins of papers gone. Bye Bye Seattle (on paper). Ciao Rocky. Now, they’re threatening to kill the Globe.

At my paper, the company is proposing to guild members to take a 2.5 percent pay cut. The Guild put out a newsletter detailing the cut and asking for our feedback. On the back, lists a few options of things we could ask for in exchange for the cut.

As my coworkers looked at the paper, they all but exploded with outrage that they were being asked to make yet another cut (the company has laid off at least 100 guild members in the last 6 months, stopped our 401k match and delayed a contribution for the pension phase out plan already). They indignantly marked “there are no circumstances under which I would accept a pay cut.”

I stared at the paper and twirled my pen in my hand. I didn’t know what option to choose.

Here’s my problem: I have a job. And I’m grateful for it. Especially as I see friends up the road dealing with the prospect of being unemployed very soon. Do I want to take a pay cut? Hell no. Do I want to keep my job? Hell yes.

I was talking to a friend in Boston about their troubles and told him that at some point, things will have to change. Lifetime job guarantees may have to go (who ever heard of that, anyway?!?). Reporters may have to fly coach and have a layover on their way to cover the Sox, Celtics or Patriots. We will have to cover more areas with fewer reporters. And it’s all going to suck. But we’ve got to change.

I still haven’t turned in my survey. I still don’t know what to mark. They say we can get personal days equivalent to the value of the pay cut, get an additional week of vacation, or ask for a guarantee of no further layoffs during this year or the life of our contract. The company guarantee means nothing to me these days. So I’m waffling between the vacation or the personal days. I just think its silly to think that we won’t have to make some cuts (and some even more painful ones) if we want to stay viable in this economy [disclaimer: my paper is one of the few in the company that is actually profitable, which is another reason my coworkers are up in arms].

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