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Boston Globe close to lower-wages deal

THE Boston Globe and its largest union have reached a tentative agreement that will save the newspaper US$10 million through salary and benefit cuts.

The Globe and the Boston Newspaper Guild issued separate statements announcing the agreement. The deal is due to come to a vote before the Guild membership - made up of 700 editorial, advertising and business employees - on July 20.

Under the agreement, salaries would be cut by 5.94 percent and language in contracts regarding job security would be altered.

The 23 percent wage cut will remain in place until the Guild votes. In the meantime, employees will receive a lump sum payment to partially compensate for lost wages.

"Our aim throughout our negotiations has been to achieve the necessary savings in a way that causes the least hardship for our employees," Globe publisher Steve Ainsley said. "We're very pleased to have reached an agreement that accomplishes those goals."

Two weeks ago, Guild members narrowly rejected a contract that called for an 8.3 percent wage cut, unpaid leave, benefit cuts and the elimination of lifetime job guarantees for nearly 200 staff. Globe owner the New York Times Co then imposed the 23 percent pay cut, saying it was necessary to keep the Globe from being shut.

The Times Co has said it needs US$10 million in wage and benefit concessions from the Guild on top of US$10 million in concessions it negotiated with six other unions.


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