Monday, June 11, 2007

Unacceptable: Raises tied to job performance*

*UPDATE: Rank-and-file members must ratify the Tribune contract offer by midnight Thursday or it will be rescinded and bargaining will have to begin all over again."We expect to make changes and continue to negotiate,"said Michael Hill, Guild unit chair. Stay tuned.—

Tribune's wage proposal wasn't well-received by Baltimore Sun Guild negotiators.

"They are still stuck on the pay-for-performance model, which is very unpopular for our members," Michael Hill, BS unit chair said. "It doesn't do what they think it does. It doesn't lead to better performance. It just leads to disgruntled employees."

Here's why: the pay-for-performance model allows employees to be at the mercy of middle managers who favor one or two over other workers even when all things are equal — including performance. Let's face it: not all managers are equal – or fair. Under such a plan, finding yourself in disfavor with a new manager though not necessarily because you aren't doing your job well, could not only impact your psyche, it will impact your take home pay. How unfair is THAT?

Having guaranteed periodic wage increases in Guild contracts has never stopped managers from awarding merit increases to those who seek them or to those they believe should have them. But a pay-for-performance model only has been used discriminatorily and it's use over time is the main reason for significant pay disparities among certain groups at non-union newspapers.

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