Boston Newspaper Guild Furious Over Sky-High NYT Executive Pay

The Boston Newspaper Guild, the largest union of employees of the New York Times Co.’s Boston Globe, has sent a letter of protest to NYT Co. chairman Arthur Sulzberger and CEO Janet Robinson over the compensation packages the pair received in 2009.

Dan Kennedy’s Media Nation blog published the letter today. Addressed to “Arthur and Janet,” the letter points out that the pair received pay packages totaling around $10 million in 2009, around the same amount the Newspaper Guild agreed to forgo in payment and benefits for its workers. As might be expected, the Guild is not too happy with Arthur and Janet:

Previously, New York Times officials told us that we needed to accept pay cuts and unpaid days off along with higher health costs, the elimination of our retirement programs and other benefit reductions in order to save the Boston Globe. But the recent SEC filings make it look like almost all of our sacrifices went to pay the two of you. For most of us up here at your newspaper in Boston, 2009 was financially disastrous, as Guild members were forced to move to cheaper housing, take second jobs, scrap vacations and make other drastic measures to offset more than a 15 percent reduction in our pay and benefits.


The two of you gave us the impression that you understood all that when you visited the Globe last winter. You even personally thanked us for giving up so much for the greater good. Now we learn that, all the while, you were in line for astronomical bonuses over and above your million dollar salaries. Ms. Robinson’s compensation rose 32 percent last year; Mr. Sulzberger’s overall pay more than doubled. While you’ve stopped contributing to our modest retirement plans, the value of your own pensions has increased sharply.

Needless to say, we are insulted, but we also feel betrayed that you would reap such profits at a time when so many of your employees have lost so much.