The New York Times and the Newspaper Guild apparently have reached an agreement under which the Times will provide the Guild with the names of all outside contributions to the Times' main daily news and feature sections.
The Guild, for several months, has been after the Times to provide the names of these contributors - called Stringers - because of a concern that the newspaper was using an increasing number of them instead of regular staffers who are represented by the Guild in collective bargaining.
The Guild thought The Times would provide the information after an October, 1977 "settlement agreement." According to a suit filed by the Guild in U.S. District Court in New York last week, that agreement was reached "after lengthly negotiations in the midst of a trial" before the National Labor Relations Board at that time.
But according to the suit. The Times has not provided the data. The Guild asked U.S. District Court Judge Milton Pollack to order The Times to comply with the terms of the agreement.
Pollack heard oral arguments on the motion Monday, then directed the attorneys for both sides to go "across the street" to the NLRB. Because the previous agreement was ambigious, Pollack said, "the place to settle the ambiguities is the place where they were made.
Yesterday the attorneys told Judge Pollack they had reached an agreement under which the Times would supply the names of stringers and a list of the stories they had written on a weekly basis. The paper will not provide data on the amount paid to the stringers.
Under the agreement, the Times will not supply stringer information for several sections of the paper, including the Sunday magazine, the book review, travel, Sunday arts and Leisure and annual supplements.
However, The Times said it would provide information on stringers in those sections on an special request basis. If the Guild is interested in one particular stringer in one of those sections, The Times agreed to provide the information.
According to Times' attorneys, more than 30,000 stringers contribute to the newspaper over the period of a year, making disclosure extremely difficult.
Guild attorney Phillip Tobin said, "We have found in several cases that stringers were being used by The Times five or six days a week, and those people should be full-time employes, represented by the Guild unit."
Tobin added that the Guild has filed an arbitration action in at least one case of that kind.
"There is a clause in the contract," Tobin said, "that says part-time employes should not be used as full-time employes."
The agreement is expected to be signed this week.
Washington Post Special Correspondent John Kennedy also contributed to this article .