New York Times and Laid Off Staffers Settle Dispute

New York Times and New York Newspaper Guild settle disputes and avoid arbitration over 14 Guild members who initially challenged their layoffs

The New York Times and 14 laid off staffers have settled their dispute and avoided arbitration, the New York Newspaper Guild announced Wednesday.

“New York Guild President Bill O’Meara is pleased to announce that the union and The Times have settled disputes and avoided arbitration over all 14 Guild members who initially challenged their layoffs of late last year through the contract’s grievance process. Six others who were laid off had decided not to grieve their dismissals,” a post read on the Guild’s website.

20 staffers were laid off in total as part of the mass buyouts and layoffs the Times’ executed in 2014. The terms of the agreement are undisclosed, but it includes financial packages for each of the former colleagues that they found acceptable, according to the Guild.

“We believe that a settlement was in the best interest of our members, who can now take their considerable talents and move on in their careers without going through a grueling legal battle,” Grant Glickson, unit chairperson of the New York Times’ Guild Union, said.

This settlement came after the Guild prepared the laid of staffers’ cases, which were built on the dispute that they were let go against their will without taking seniority into consideration. Many had just received positive job performance reviews.

“One of the more disappointing aspects of this process was the inconsistent advice given by department managers after the masthead repeatedly recommended that employees have ‘frank discussions’ with supervisors to see where they stood,” the Guild said. “Some managers provided accurate information when employees asked for assessments, but others offered misleading or unhelpful feedback.”

Overall, between buyouts and layoffs, The Times cut over 100 staffers.