Newspaper Guild Releases Details of Agreement

With the future of Philly’s two major daily newspapers at stake and the clock ticking down toward a likely work stoppage, both sides on Friday gave a little something to get something.

Philadelphia Media Network — which owns the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com — decided that it would pay the increased health insurance costs of its employees. The Newspaper Guild — which represents journalists, advertising staff and other support workers at the papers — decided it would give a little bit on seniority, allowing the company some bit flexibility in deciding which staff it wants to keep in the event of future layoffs. (The details of the deal were released in a memo to guild employees this morning; see the full document below.)

The result? After eight months spent at impasse mostly over those issues — and barely 24 hours before their contract was due to expire — the two sides struck a deal, with the resulting handshake (seen above) between Stan Wischnowski, the company’s vice president for news operations, and Howard Gensler, the guild’s president.

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Wolf Expected to Veto GOP Budget

tom-wolf-budget-940x540

Gov. Wolf, center, during happier times at the Legislature.

Looks like Harrisburg may blow past Tuesday’s June 30 deadline for a state budget.

The GOP-controlled legislature worked through the weekend with the House passing its own $30.1 budget on Saturday and a Senate committee giving its approval Sunday night. But Gov. Wolf sent signals he would veto the bill, which includes none of his ideas for education funding or taxing the Marcellus shale, two of his big priorities. Read more »

No Strike: Newspaper Guild, PMN Reach Tentative Agreement

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

There will be no Philadelphia newspaper strike after all.

On Friday night — after an exhausting 11-hour negotiating session with a federal mediator, and 25 hours before their contract was set to expire — the Newspaper Guild and Philadelphia Media Network announced they had reached a “tentative agreement” on a two-year contract.

The Guild represents journalists, ad sales people, and other support staffers at Philadelphia Media Network, which owns the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com. Read more »

Newspaper Strike Countdown: Scenes From Today’s Rally

Photos by Joel Mathis

Photos by Joel Mathis

Tick, tock.

Hundreds of Newspaper Guild members marched during a noontime rally Thursday at the Market Street office of Philadelphia Media Network, chanting demands for a fair contract as the clock ticked down on just more than two days left before the current work agreement expires. Read more »

PMN to Journalists: Here’s How You Can Cross Picket Lines

The Newspaper Guild has already printed picket signs in case of a possible strike.

The Newspaper Guild has already printed picket signs in case of a possible strike.

With a possible strike by the Newspaper Guild looming, Philadelphia Media Network today sent employees a memo apparently aimed at getting them — or at least a few of them — to stay on the job during a walkout.

Yes, you can keep working if a strike is called, said the memo from the company that owns the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com. We’ll provide security and a safe way to report in to your managers. And if you’re worried about being fined by the Newspaper Guild for crossing the picket line — well, here’s a template for a letter you can send that exempts you from most responsibilities that come with union membership.

And, oh yeah, if you do walk out? Don’t necessarily expect to come back, ever. Read more »

Court Strikes Down Law That Let NRA Sue Pa. Cities

nra-suit

A Commonwealth Court has struck down the new state law that let the NRA — and other third parties — sue Pennsylvania cities for their gun restrictions.

The law is “unconstitutional and void,” the court said in Thursday morning’s ruling. Read more »

Kane Fires Another Staffer

Kathleen Kane

George Moore told Kathleen Kane she should fire her controversial chief of staff. The chief of staff still has a job. Moore doesn’t.

Moore, a 16-year veteran of state government, was fired Wednesday from his job as Kane’s labor-relations coordinator. He told the Inquirer he believed he’d been terminated because he recommended the firing of Jonathan Duecker after two women reported Duecker had sexually harassed them. Read more »

Three Philly Election Officials Face Voter Fraud Charges

(Derek Hatfield/Shutterstock)

(Derek Hatfield/Shutterstock)

Three people have been charged with voter fraud in two separate cases stemming from the 2015 and 2014 Philadelphia primary elections.

Robin Trainor and Laura Murtaugh are both charged in a 2015 incident in which Trainor allegedly guided her husband’s vote, voted in her son’s place, and received Murtaugh’s help doing so. Read more »

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