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Tentative two-year agreement reached with Thomson Reuters

Your bargaining committee is pleased to announce that we’ve reached a tentative agreement with Thomson Reuters (Canada) for a two-year contract, covering the period April 1, 2011 through to March 31, 2013.

Your bargaining committee is unanimously recommending approval of this agreement. It is a good outcome, given the current climate at Thomson Reuters. It represents two years of stability during a time of continued flux and change. It is also consistent with what you told us was important in the bargaining survey: job security and maintaining our pension and benefits.

In the meantime, here are the highlights:
* Effective April 1, 2011 – one percent (1%) wage increase
* Effective January 1, 2012 ? half a percent (0.5%) wage increase
* Effective April 1, 2012, – one percent (1%) wage increase
* Effective January 1, 2013 ? half a percent (0.5%) wage increase

* We have improved the maternity benefit to bring it in line with non-Guild employees.

* We have added a new step to the bottom of the Group 18 Reporter/Deskperson/Photographer scale. The new start rate is $825/week. This will only apply to new hires who join after the agreement is ratified. Current employees’ salaries are not affected and you will move to the next step on your anniversary date, as always.

* There is no change to the health benefits coverage provided to Thomson Reuters Guild employees in Canada.

* The defined benefit pension plan remains well-funded and is in no threat of it being wound down or converted to a defined contribution plan.

There was also frank discussion about issues such as clearer career paths, specifically for online editorial members, as well as a better way forward on scheduling for the 24/7 operation. Both parties are committed to address scheduling concerns. The Joint Scheduling Committee will continue to meet frequently.

Copies of the full Memorandum of Agreement (in English and French) will be sent to all members within the next few days. A general membership information meeting is being organized for next week in Toronto. We will have at least two sessions and dial-in conferencing for those who cannot attend in person. We will confirm the date, times and location as soon as possible.

Plans are also being made for the ratification vote, which we expect to take place before the end of the month. Packages containing a ballot and a return envelope will be sent by courier to all members outside Toronto as soon as possible.

Thank you to everyone for your support throughout this process.

Your Bargaining Committee,

Ka Yan Ng, branch president
John McCrank, treasurer
Stefanie Kranjec, vice-president Editorial
Kathy Viner, CMG staff rep
Glenn Gray, CMG staff rep

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