The Boston Globe and Teamsters Local 259 have jointly announced the ratification of a new three-year labor agreement. The union, which represents about 250 newspaper delivery drivers, voted Sunday morning 132-28 in favor of the agreement.
The new contract provides wage increases of $19 a week retroactive to January 1, $10 a week, effective January 1, 2003, $10 a week effective July 1, 2003, $11 a week effective January 1, 2004, and $10 a week effective July 1, 2004. The new wage scale for drivers at the Globe by the middle of the third year of the agreement will be $985 a week.
Also provided in the new agreement are provisions for a one-time bonus payment of either $500 or $1000 to full time drivers at the end of 2004 if the Globe's revenues substantially increase to specified levels over the term of the labor agreement.
The Globe obtained key changes in the labor agreement that will enable it to realize substantial cost reductions over the next several years, including reduction in certain staffing requirements. In exchange for these contract changes, the Globe also agreed to increase its payments to the Union's H&W and pension funds. "This new labor agreement will assure that our health and welfare fund can continue to provide high quality medical and dental benefits for our members and help to offset escalating health care costs," said Teamsters Local 259 secretary-treasurer Ralph Goscinak. "The wage settlement reflects the current tough economy but still keeps us among the best paid drivers in the industry."