Bargaining Bulletin 3
MIAMI — Responding to a Guild proposal, the EFE News Service on Wednesday proposed a shift differential for night work. The Guild’s proposal called for an extra 5% of salary to be paid for any employee who works after 6 pm. It is based on the contract covering EFE’s workers in Spain.
In response, EFE proposed a 4% additional payment for any hours worked after 6.00 pm. However, the company indicated that it wanted to do away with the current weekly rotation for the night shift and have a “more stable” system in its Washington, DC office. EFE suggested a system where volunteers would be sought for the night shift on a permanent or semi-permanent basis. In the absence of volunteers, the shift could be assigned to employees, but for periods lasting a few months. The company said employees working the night shift would be guaranteed having weekends scheduled off.
The company and the union also discussed the weekend system which includes long periods of “on call” status that greatly restrict employees ability to enjoy time off. The union is proposing a 10% differential for weekend work.
“We are hopeful the company will understand the burden imposed by night shifts and long weekend hours and will merely accept the same compensation our colleagues under the Spanish collective bargaining agreement already enjoy”, said Teresa Bouza, a member of the negotiating committee.
In other areas:
- The Guild and the company agreed on extending the $250 training benefit into 2011. The benefit will cover at least 16 employees. Priority will be given to employees who haven’t yet received training.
- The company and the union also discussed the Guild’s proposal for bi-weekly wage payments and asked for more time to consider it as bargaining continues.
- EFE said that it did not want to accept another Guild proposal about professional experience credit, which is common in many Guild contracts in the United States. This proposal counts a worker’s previous professional experience outside the company in calculating wage rates. Under the current system only experience within EFE is counted for credit.
Talks will resume the week of March 21st.
Representing the Guild were Bouza, EFE unit chair Jorge Bañales and NMG president Tony Winton.
Representing EFE were María Luisa Azpiazu, EFE News Service vice-president and attorney Rudy Gómez.