Members of the Baltimore Sun’s Newspaper Guild have agreed to a two-year wage freeze and the end of pension benefits for incoming hires in return for a higher company contribution to their 401(k) retirement plans.
By a voice vote Wednesday night, members of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild approved a three-year extension of the current contract with the Baltimore Sun Media Group, a subsidiary of the bankrupt Tribune Co., the Sun reported.
The agreement means a 401(k) contribution increase to 3.5 percent of employees’ base pay rather than 2.5 percent. In return, the Guild agreed to a permanent freeze of pension benefits at current levels and the end of benefits for employees hired after June 26.
In the third year of the contract, about 225 newsroom and advertising personnel can expect raises of $10 a week, with the possibility of more based on performance..
The Sun’s newsroom has taken multiple hits in staffing and salaries in recent years. But in a victory of sorts for the Guild, the company has given up its longstanding effort to keep website workers separate from the newsroom and will allow them to join the union.