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Newspaper Guild, The Plain Dealer reach contract agreement

The Guild says it tried to find a deal that would benefit members affected by layoffs and the ones who remain

CLEVELAND — The Northeast Ohio Newspaper Guild say its Plain Dealer unit has reached a new contract agreement with The Plain Dealer.

In a release, the Guild says the two sides reached an agreement Friday and members ratified the deal over the weekend.

The agreement comes just weeks after the paper announced plans to cut 12 reporters and editors from the newsroom staff, in addition 29 other position cuts announced in December 2018, as the paper moves to a “centralized production system.”

The new agreement provides the option of expanded health care benefits for those in the affected positions and eliminates furlough days for remaining members, returning an average of $2,700 in wages annually.

“This has been an incredibly challenging few months for our members, all of whom continued to produce excellent journalism amidst so much uncertainty and stress. Fortunately, we were able to come to a deal that provides some benefit to everyone. That’s because we have a union. Without the Guild, we wouldn't have had a seat at the table to advocate for our members,” said PD News Guild unit chair Ginger Christ. “We will continue to fight for our members, for our unit and for the community, which deserves great journalism and a free and independent press.”

In the wake of the additional cuts announced earlier this month the Guild offered the company a deal to save one job for every 500 subscriptions.

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