JAN. 14, 2008


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» Jan. 16 strike vote

In your own Neighbourhood

Something for everybody
We've already told you (Bulletin #13) about the nastiness the company hopes to impose on the Editorial department. That no-specialist, wide-open freelance agenda will cripple our ability to live up to the Atkinson Principles and will do serious damage to the precious Star brand.

But nobody is immune; all of us are in grave danger. Here's a nutshell version of what the company wants to do to our other departments:


  • The company insists it has the right to allow cross-selling -- allowing non- Star sales people and agencies to sell Star product ads. This would undermine job security across the department.
  • No more company cars. This would force affected staff to pay for their own business-use insurance, at thousands more a year. We were told by the company that this move will save the Star exactly $7 -- yes, seven bucks -- per vehicle annually.
  • No more Guild observer to ensure fairness in the job interview process.
  • Eliminate training positions for staff trying to move up.
  • Job postings and interviews would be allowed outside the company at the same time as the process begins inside, making it more difficult for staffers to improve their position.
  • Outside job seekers deemed the "best qualified" by the company could leapfrog over qualified staffers for that job. Seniority wouldn't matter.
  • The company wants to "raise the bar" with a sharply higher points threshold in job competitions.
  • We still have no confidence that company commission sales targets are attainable, which hurts commission staff and the paper's revenues.


  • Forced reclassification of all jobs -- including ad builders, electronic imagers, photo engravers and copy processors -- into one new job called pre-publishing technician.
  • New job would require all staffers to be capable of doing all previous jobs, including work now done by non-union employees.
  • Training programs and details would be decided by the company.
  • An end to favourable job-scheduling rules in several areas.
  • Loss of jurisdiction language by photo engravers.
  • The proposed loss of Sunday pay and double time, plus cheaper overtime rates and other changes, would hit this department hard.
  • Forced rotation through zone offices and 1 Yonge in the same week.


  • A loss of company cars hits this group hard, particularly in new self-paid vehicle insurance costs and 407 transponder costs.
  • The proposed gutted shift premiums, OT, night differential changes and end to Sunday pay will mean a rise in non-social hours and lost income.


  • New hires would be paid as little as half that of existing staff, devaluing their work and tempting the company even more to get rid of them.
  • The proposed gutted shift premiums, OT and end to Sunday pay will mean a rise in non-social hours and lost income, particularly given the monthly cycles of the department.


  • Company rejects our proposal to merge this 11-person department with the rest of us in the main contract. (They now have a separate, less-valuable agreement.)
  • Layoffs threatened -- another big reason to be in the main agreement.

Electricians, engravers

  • We are co-ordinating our bargaining with both the photo engravers (CEP local 591G) and the electricians (IBEW). They are facing the same issues.

Strike vote
Calling all members: Our strike vote meeting begins Wed. Jan. 16 at 5 p.m. at the Westin Harbour Castle, across the street from 1 Yonge.

Guild Bargaining Committee
Unit Chair: Maureen Dawson
Editorial: Dan Smith and Valerie Hauch (alternate)
Circulation: Steve Gjorkes and Jeff Bodrucky (alternate)
Finance: Cathie Nichols and Dawn Armstrong (alternate)
Advertising: Elizabeth Marzari and Dijana Maderic (alternate)
Thestar.com: Craig Wattie and Tony Camara (alternate)
Pre-Press: Lester Veszlenyi and Lorraine Wohlgemuth (alternate)