The New York Times buyout agreement has been set by Times management and the guild. Employees on their way out will receive three weeks pay per year of service and up to two years for long-term employees. However, the Guild writes, “the timing is somewhat different.”
Staffers can choose to sign up for the buyout up to December 7; their last day of work will be December 9. If not enough staff sign up, SVP of labor relations Terry Hayes says layoffs will occur December 17, a week before Christmas.
The company’s trying to conclude everything by the end of the year, hence the tight timing.
If there are layoffs, the Guild says that seniority still plays a role in determining who the company can choose. However, the Guild and Times management now differ on the definition of seniority:
Management has now taken the position that each desk constitutes a department, and that an employee’s seniority changes when they move from desk to desk. The Guild strongly believes that is flat wrong, and that, for example, a reporter in the Newsroom is a reporter and their seniority accrues no matter what desk he or she is assigned to.
This could get ugly.