As discussed in today’s town hall meeting, our industry continues to face challenges. We have taken steps to position ourselves ahead of the competition, including the launch of Globe Unlimited in October 2012, and these investments are starting to pay off. Our digital revenues are increasing; however, not at a fast enough rate to make up for the decrease in print revenues that are being felt across the industry.
At the beginning of this fiscal year, we introduced a framework which outlines our three main priorities:
- Cut Costs
- Grow into the Brand
- Cultivate a New Globe
The first priority, “Cut Costs”, means adjusting our spending to fit our shifting revenue patterns. We have already reduced operating costs for printing and distribution, and workforce expenses are also lower. Those are our two biggest cost areas.
Many potential savings were identified by the Transformation Team, which was created last summer to find efficiencies across the organization, and includes representatives from a cross-section of the company. Some have already been approved by senior management of the company, and are producing significant savings, including:
· Changes to hotel and public placement programs
· Changes to delivery
· Reductions in travel and entertainment costs
· Elimination or renegotiation of many service contracts
From a workforce perspective, we have already made savings through:
· A voluntary Flexible Time Away (FTA) Program in 2012 & 2013, whereby staff could take up to three months off without pay
· A voluntary separation programme (VSP) last summer
· Reduction in headcount by over 100 positions since September 2012 (includes non-union layoffs in fall of 2013, and VSP departures)
· Leaving some vacancies unfilled
· Reduction in use of independent contractors and freelancers
While these measures have helped, they are not sufficiently offsetting print revenue declines. As mentioned at the town hall today, we need to further reduce costs through employee layoffs.
We have identified 18 positions that would be affected.
To all members of Unifor:
We have worked closely with your union representatives to ensure this process runs as smoothly as possible. I would like to thank them for their commitment and professionalism.
In accordance with the Collective Agreement, employees in the affected classifications may offer to resign in exchange for severance pay, subject to operational requirements. Details can be found at (20.04)(b) of the Collective Agreement or in the Q&A. If you wish to apply for a package, you must complete a Resignation Election Form by 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, January 31. The Globe and Mail will act in accordance with the Collective Agreement in determining who is approved for resignation. We will communicate all decisions on Monday, February 3, 2014.
If people resign in the affected classifications, the number of layoffs will be reduced. The people who are to be laid off will be notified on Wednesday, February 5, 2014. Some of these people, depending on their classification and seniority, may have the ability to bump. This process will be communicated at the time. A seniority list for all Unifor members is attached or can be accessed here.
The following summarizes the timelines for layoffs:
• January 13 – Notice of layoff to staff
• January 31 – Resignation period ends
• February 3 – Decisions communicated for resignation applications
• February 5 – Notice of specific layoff provided
• March 31 – Departure of employees who have voluntarily resigned
• Date of Layoff + 8 weeks - Layoffs begin
This decision was made only after considering all other remaining options, and I recognize that it creates uncertainty and discomfort. Our objective is to make the right decisions now that will ensure our future success, while not compromising the high-quality newspaper, magazine, and online products we bring to the market.
If you have questions, please speak to your manager or HR business partner.