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Not Good News: Oregonian Cuts Salaries, Forces Employee Furloughs

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Breaking news from Oregon Media Insiders. The Oregonian's Owner, privately-held Advance Publications, got their week off to an ugly start.

Advance Publications is instituting mandatory 10-day furloughs and a pension freeze at nearly all of its daily papers outside Michigan, according to Steve Newhouse, chairman of Advance.net and a company spokesman.

...

The Oregonian posted a story today stating its furloughs would only be for four days, but salary reductions of five to 10 percent would also be instituted.

To read portion of the staff announcement from Oregonian Publisher Fred Stickel, go to OMI. Here are the sections that will jump off the screen...

All full-time employees will face pay reductions of either 5% or 10% (contact your manager for your new rate) except the publisher's pay, the president's pay and the editor's pay will be reduced by 15%.

....

A furlough of four unpaid days will be required for all full-time employees. These will be taken one day per week for four weeks in a 10-week time period. Specific days will be determined by your department heads. Managers will speak to exempt employees about scheduling their time off in compliance with wage and hour laws.

Mandatory furloughs, salary cuts, frozen benefits.  That's the damage so far.

You're a writer.  You chase stories 24 / 7/ 365.  Your manager will now determine your unpaid vacation schedule.  Your manager will now tell you whether you are now being paid 5 or 10 percent less to do the same job you are already doing.

You're a manager.  You have to give that information to your writers. It's pretty much out of your hands.

Multiple Oregonian employees have so far refused comment. I am seeking comment from additional sources. I will update this post if (or when) that happens.

-- Ben (benjamin.golliver@gmail.com)

PS OMI is one of my top 10 favorite websites. If you haven't bookmarked it yet, do so.  I have added it to our blogroll on the side.