Inquirer, Daily News Staffers Approve New Contract employees are expected to give approval today.

Members of the Newspaper Guild on Monday night decisively approved a new contract that governs reporters, ad staffers and other support staffers at the Inquirer and Daily News.

“It was an overwhelming ratification vote,” said Bill Ross, the union’s executive director, of the 259-12 approval vote. “We think our membership is ready to make these newspapers and website the best they can be.”

Employees of, employed under a separate but similar contract also negotiated by the guild, are expected to give approval to their contract during a vote this afternoon.

Ratification comes after months of contentious negotiations — an agreement was reached a day before the guild’s contract with Philadelphia Media Network expired, and approval for a strike had already been given.

The two outstanding issues — the cost of health care and seniority — were resolved with a compromise: The company will absorb employees’ increased health care costs, but will get new flexibility in deciding which employees to keep in the event of future cutbacks. A buyout offer — to encourage older or more expensive employees to depart the company — is expected in the near future.

The contract is scheduled to last two years.

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