Washington Post sweetens its buyout offer

Post Guild

The end of negotiations between The Washington Post and the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild means a better deal for employees who take the paper up on its "Separation Incentive Plan." The parties didn't agree, but the Post's final offer is now on the table: 3.25 weeks of pay for every year of service, and health insurance coverage for up to a year no matter how long an employee has been at the company.

"The Post’s buyout offer is better than it was at the start of negotiations," write Guild reps Freddy Kunkle, Nikita Stewart, Chris Jenkins, Beth Chang and Rick Ehrmann. "But we still feel that many will find it inadequate when considering whether to surrender jobs that they have long considered to be their calling."

Perhaps so, but the first offer already was better than the industry standard of two weeks for every year of employment, according to Poynter business analyst Rick Edmonds.

The Guild continues: "We also believe this buyout offers yet another unsettling glimpse at the Post’s business strategy, which appears to be a belief in cutting costs at every turn while promising readers that they will still receive the level of coverage and professional quality that earned the Post a national reputation for excellence."

Buyout offers will begin hitting desks Wednesday. || Earlier: Washington Post offers buyouts for 5th time in recent years (Poynter) | Who the Washington Post Wants to Get Rid Of (Washington City Paper) | How to decide whether to take a buyout? (Poynter)

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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