Today the guild announced that it had settled those disputes. “The Guild felt confident in prevailing through the arbitration process,” said Unit Chair Grant Glickson in a guild news release. “But 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.”
The settlements cover the cases of 14 ex-staffers who challenged the terms of their departures, according to the guild. Six others didn’t challenge their pink slips. The terms of the settlements are confidential, though the guild says they include “financial packages for each of our former colleagues that they all found acceptable.”
The announcement wraps up a drama at the New York Times dating to last fall, when management announced that it needed to cut the newsroom staff count by 100 people — a reduction that started with buyouts but also included layoffs. The two-step process set up awkward discussions between managers and employees in which the latter had to figure out whether they’d be laid off if they didn’t take a buyout. “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,” notes the guild release. “Some managers provided accurate information when employees asked for assessments, but others offered misleading or unhelpful feedback.”
The New York Times declined to comment on the matter.