New York Times staffers are weighing a strike as salary disputes between the Times union and its management hit an impasse, Insider reported.
Amid record-high inflation, the Times staffers are demanding an 8 percent annual salary increase year-over-year for four years. Times management said the demands were beyond reasonable bounds and offered a 4 percent increase for one year and a 2 percent increase the following two years, plus a 1 percent merit-based pay hike.
The New York Times Guild's demands are "far outside the bounds for any organization, especially in such an uncertain economic climate," a spokesperson for the Times told Insider. This year the national average annual salary increase is 4.8 percent, the biggest pay bump in a decade, according to a Pearl Meyer report in June. With inflation at a record 8.3 percent this year, Times employees are asking for almost double that average—for four years straight.
The union rejected the counter offer, stating the proposed hikes are vital given that soaring inflation has burdened employees with a higher cost of living.
Two weeks ago, 1,300 Times employees stayed home in protest after the company mandated staff return to the office at least three days a week. In August, the Guild released a lengthy report that accused the Times of treating white employees more favorably than its minority employees, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
"I think people feel that management doesn’t listen unless everybody is beside themselves and ready to walk out the door, so if that’s what it’s going to take, then that’s what it’s going to take," said Frances Robles, a Times correspondent and member of the union’s bargaining committee.