Gannett Co. Inc. — which owns Florida Today, The News-Press, the Pensacola News Journal and the Tallahassee Democrat — has announced a fourth round of furloughs for employees of the US Community Publishing division, according to a memo released Tuesday.
All employees will face one week of unpaid leave before March. Company executives will also either take a furlough or a pay reduction equivalent to one week of unpaid leave. Gannett employees have already faced three previous mandated furloughs — two in 2009 and one during the first quarter of 2010.
Below is the memo sent to employees Tuesday from Bob Dickey, president of Gannett’s US Community Publishing Division:
January 4, 2011
To: All US Community Publishing employees
From: Bob Dickey
Last year was an important year for our division both strategically and operationally. We made many significant changes that are bearing results today and will help strengthen our business going forward.
As we start the new year, we continue to see some improvement in revenue trends and reduced year-over-year revenue declines in US Community Publishing. This is no small accomplishment and I think you should take great pride in what you have achieved. Our top line revenues, however, while improving, remain short of where they were a year ago. This is compounded by a still challenging and uncertain economy, as well as increasing expenses. To help us manage through these challenges, we have made the difficult decision to implement a furlough across USCP during the first quarter. This was, quite frankly, an option I had hoped we could avoid. Furloughs, while difficult, do allow us to protect jobs. The staff reductions we have taken over the past few years have been very hard and further reductions are not our first preference.
During the first quarter, non-union USCP employees will be furloughed for five business days. Exempt, salaried employees must take one full payroll week within the pay period, to be completed by Sunday, March 27. Outside sales people will take five days that can be completed at any pre-approved time before the last weekend in March. Non-exempt, hourly employees will also take five days at any pre-approved time, before the last weekend in March. If you are not sure which category you are in, you should check with your Human Resources representative or supervisor. The attached FAQ should answer other questions you may have. We will be communicating separately with union representatives to discuss the treatment of bargaining unit employees. I will be taking a furlough during the quarter and Craig Dubow and Gracia Martore each will be taking a reduction of salary that is equivalent to a week’s furlough.
We have accomplished a lot over the last year and I am very proud of the outstanding journalism, products and services you deliver to our communities and customers every day. I know furloughs are very hard on you and your families and I thank each of you for the continued commitment and great work.