Sun employees ratify proposal Plan may lead to merger of papers' local coverage.

October 10, 1991

Editorial, commercial and maintenance employees at the Baltimore Sun have ratified an agreement that will allow the company to merge and expand the coverage of local news by The Sun and The Evening Sun.

By a margin of more than 3 to 1, members of the Sunpapers unit of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild approved contract changes that would eliminate the current "two-tier" pay scale under which about 100 employees of local supplements circulated in Anne Arundel, Howard, Carroll and Harford counties are paid at rates below those paid to employees of the main newspaper doing basically the same work.

The company's initial proposal for eliminating the two-tier scale was rejected overwhelmingly by the union Sept. 19 because of a list of concessions sought by the company. Many of those concessions were eliminated in the revised agreement approved last night.

The changes will not take effect unless the company decides to move forward with the merger of local coverage and other changes at the newspaper.

Michael Mauer, assistant administrative officer for the Guild, called the agreement "excellent . . . in that after 10 years we . . .

now have recognition of the principal of equal pay for equal work."

Where there were concessions made, he said, "we are determined to minimize as much as possible any negative impact on any of our members."

David R. Belz, a spokesman for the company, said the union's acceptance of the agreement will give the company "greater flexibility" in planning future changes at the paper, "particularly in its work to improve coverage of local news."

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