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Sean Daly, Michelle Stark and Sharon Kennedy Wynne

St. Petersburg Times announces 5 percent, across-the-board pay cut for staffers

24

September

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Times Publishing Co. CEO Paul Tash released a memo to staff Thursday outlining a 5 percent pay cut across the board for all employees, along with a phased-out end to benefits provided for retirees on the company's health care plan.

The pay cuts will take effect Nov. 2 and will be seen in paychecks issued to Times staffers Nov. 13. A  Q&A published on the newspaper's Intranet site said the pay reductions are a permanent reset, but will not affect advertising commissions. The Q&A also said other options, such as graduated pay cuts and furloughs, would have been difficult to administer or develop.

Below is the full text of the memo Tash released to the staff today:

To: All Times Publishing Company Staff

From: Paul Tash

Last week, the board of directors unanimously reached two decisions to bring our expenses into better balance with our revenues, and help the company weather this prolonged economic storm.

First, we will implement a 5 percent, across-the-board wage reduction for all employees, starting November 2nd. We recognize that this will add to the strain that staffers are bearing, and we regret that this step is necessary. But in due time, we would regret even more a failure to recognize and respond to the worst recession in our lifetimes.

Second, for retirees on the company’s health plan, the board decided to phase out health care coverage. Even as other companies dropped these benefits, Times Publishing preserved them as long as possible. We will help retirees identify other choices for health coverage, and we support efforts to expand health care options for all Americans.

We came to these decisions only when it was clear the recession would go longer and deeper than predicted. They are part of our plan to re-structure the company on a smaller revenue base, even while we advance our position in a competitive marketplace. I remain confident about our ultimate success, and one reason is your understanding and commitment in these challenging times.

Still, this announcement may leave you with questions. We have tried to anticipate and address some of them in the following Q & A. We also encourage discussions with your managers, and if your schedules permit, we recommend that you attend the company forums next week.

See you then.

.

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 3:01pm]

    

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