Printers at The Washington Post yesterday voted by more than 2 to 1 to accept a new contract that grew out of almost two years of negotiations, the president of the printers' union said yesterday.
The Post's approximately 465 full-time printers, represented by the Columbia Typographical Union No. 101, will retain guaranteed lifetime employment under the new agreement, President William Boarman said.
Those electing to resign will receive "buy-out" payments based on age, ranging between $25,000 and $35,000, if taken in a lump sum or up to $52,000 if taken in installments.
The printers' old contract expired in September 1979. The new contract provides for retroactive raises of $30 per week beginning on Oct. 1, 1979, and another $30 a week beginning on that date in 1980, bringing base pay to about $472 per week for night-time shifts.
In addition, printers will get $35-per-week raises in October 1981, 1982 and 1983. For each of the two years after that they will receive a $33-per-week raise.
Each full-time printer is also to get a $500 bonus on the first payday after the new contract is formally signed.
The contract's language gives The Washington Post more flexibility in processing material for print, said Larry Wallace, vice president for industrial relations and The Post's chief labor negotiator, but Boarman said the printers will retain most of the functions they now perform.
"Productivity leave," a provision under which printers took off three weeks a year in addition to their four weeks of vacation, will be phased out by 1984, Boarman said.
The Post and union negotiators reached the accord last Wednesday, one week after the newspaper announced it was cancelling the old contract's terms, under which the printers had continued working. That would have helped open the way for The Post to declare an impasse to federal mediators and eventually enforce working conditions based on its final offer, Wallace said.