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Tentative Sun-Times, Newspaper Guild Agreement Will Only Bring Back Four Photographers

By Lisa White in News on Dec 3, 2013 6:30PM

Some bittersweet news today for the fired photographers from the Sun-Times that lost their jobs earlier this year in May. As we reported last month, it looked like some of those photographers would possibly have their jobs back due to a new collective bargaining agreement between Sun-Times Media and the Chicago Newspaper Guild. Well, it looks like only slightly good news for four photographers instead.

As reported by the Chicago Tribune, an agreement has been made to hire back four fired photographers as part of the new collective bargaining agreement. The tentative agreement also includes a lump sum payment of $2,000 for fired photographers not rehired. Which in the grand scheme of any type of severance payment isn’t much.

Also the four photographers rehired can be assigned to any of the Sun-Times’s five newspaper units. Also under the new deal, those photographers would be required to perform in multimedia capacity according to sources of the Tribune. Before there were limits on using photographers to shoot video footage.

After the Sun-Times fired their photography staff, the guild filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board this summer over the conduct of the mass firings. As part of this new tentative agreement, the guild will drop the complaint as well.

So to break it down, only four photographers will be rehired and they will have to do video work (not part of their job and something they may not be skilled in) and could be shuffled to do work for any of the Sun-Times outlets. Extra work, extra commuting and we’re guessing not for more pay. Those that aren’t lucky enough to be one of the chosen four will get a measly amount of apology money for being fired. It’s better than nothing but still a long sigh for those hoping for more justice in the situation.