Union weighs contract offer from Sun Newspaper Guild panel recommends approval

June 23, 1996|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Negotiators for a union representing 650 employees of The Baltimore Sun Co. recommended that members approve an amended contract offer from the company, union administrative officer Carol Rosenblatt said last night.

The members of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, which represents reporters, editors, members of the advertising department and other employees at The Sun, were to vote on whether to accept or reject the pact late last night.

The Guild's contract was due to expire at midnight yesterday, and a strike was possible if the offer were rejected.

The Guild's negotiating committee gave a "qualified" recommendation last night for members to approve the offer, Rosenblatt said.

"There are still things in the contract that we're not happy with," she said. "But it's the best we felt we could do."

Union and company negotiators had been meeting for weeks, and the talks continued yesterday as The Sun presented in an amended proposal what negotiator Howard Weinstein called the paper's "best and final" offer.

The new offer accepted Guild restrictions on hiring outside contractors to perform Guild-covered work, and it delayed until July 1997 the time when Guild employees must start paying more for their health insurance.

If approved by Guild members, the contract would pay a $1,000 lump sum to all members in the first year of the contract, plus a $1,500 payment to each member to give The Sun more leeway in assigning work across departments.

Each Guild-covered employee would also receive an option for 100 shares in Times Mirror Co., the owner of the paper.

In the contract's second and third years, workers would get average raises of $19 a week each year.

Pub Date: 6/23/96

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