Postmedia announced to Pacific Newspaper Group staff today that they need to cut 10% of the salary cost for the company across Canada. To achieve this goal, they have offered a Voluntary Buyout Offer (VBO) to PNG members today. They have offered to pay 3 weeks per year of service to a maximum of 78 weeks with a $150,000 cap. They have also removed mitigation and competition clauses that were included in a past VBO. They have also given members an option to take the payments as a retirement allowance (continued paid until paid out) or as a lump sum payment, but will be charging a 30% premium to do so. In effect, if you want a lump sum, the company will deduct 30% from your payout for that choice. The company is also closing many papers in Ontario and Alberta, see the story here.
The Union is aware of this issue and we are currently weighing our options, which may include grievances and/or an application at the Labour Relations Board. President Brian Gibson will be participating in a telephone conference with other Unifor Presidents that work with Postmedia tomorrow and he hopes to update things then. Please monitor this website or the private Facebook group for updates shortly.