BuzzFeed News union staff will be reducing their work schedules by 20% and taking 20% pay cuts as part of a workshare agreement made with the company to help prevent layoffs through the end of 2020.
The agreement, which comes after previous rounds of pay cuts and furloughs, is modeled after a similar program instituted at the Los Angeles Times, whose newsroom guild agreed to 20% reductions in pay and work hours to help reduce costs and prevent layoffs.
BuzzFeed News union members participating in the agreement will be able to “submit claims for partial unemployment benefits to cover their reduced hours,” an announcement from the union said. A “small number of members” will also be accepting furloughs through August 14 but will still receive health benefits and full compensation for unused PTO and comp time.
The union, which has over 70 members and is organized under the NewsGuild of New York, said that BuzzFeed will be submitting applications for work-sharing plans in New York, California and Washington, D.C. with a June start date, which will allow affected employees to apply for federal unemployment benefits that are available through July.
“After going through layoffs a little more than a year ago, our newsroom knew how devastating another round of job cuts would be, especially during such dire times,” Eric Morrow, a news curation editor for BuzzFeed News, said. “Our members overwhelmingly wanted to pursue a solution that avoided job losses and stood united when it came time to show how important this was to all of us. I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished.”
“We know that even working reduced hours, our members won’t stop producing the fearless reporting and brilliant writing they do now,” Rachel Sanders, BuzzFeed News’ deputy culture editor, said. “I’m so proud of the time, effort, and sacrifice everyone in our union has willingly put in to develop our work-sharing plan, to show management the plan was viable, and to make that plan a reality.”