NYT, Union Discuss Voluntary Buyouts

nytco.pngA union representing New York Times employees sent a memo to members yesterday, detailing a meeting this week between New York guild members and Times management over cost cutting options.

“The meeting was part of a process that was agreed to in discussions between the union and company management last spring regarding the temporary 5 percent pay reduction that Guild members approved,” the memo, obtained by Romenesko, said.

One option discussed by the paper’s management and the union has been voluntary buyouts, which the guild’s leadership said they would agree to after the details are ironed out. According to the memo:

“In response to a proposal by New York Guild President Bill O’Meara, Times Senior Vice President of Operations and Labor Terry Hayes said the company would agree to offer a voluntary buyout. However, both also agreed that further discussions would be necessary to work out the parameters of the program, including such factors as eligibility, timing and the number of buyouts available. Hayes added that The Times was agreeable to a buyout ‘because the Guild and its members “stepped up” to help the newspaper’ by agreeing to the temporary pay reduction a few months ago.”

Times staffers agreed to a five percent pay cut back in March, but the memo added that salaries would be restored to their previous levels on January 1.

The Times has offered buyouts before, most recently in June 2008. And in addition to other cost cutting measures, the paper also laid off some employees last fall.

Read the full memo here.