• Health insurance for production employees at the Post-Gazette was provided by a union Taft-Hartley Health Fund for several years. In the fall of 2020, the Fund notified the Post-Gazette that it would no longer provide healthcare to production employees. A unanimous panel of the National Labor Relations Board had earlier ruled the Post-Gazette’s contribution rates to the Fund were lawful. The Fund therefore was not authorized to demand increased contribution rates. The Post-Gazette and its production unions then bargained about the effects of the Fund’s decision.

    In December 2020, the Post-Gazette and its production unions reached a new Healthcare Agreement. The Agreement set forth the health benefits and contribution rate to the Fund for 2021 and beyond. The Fund accepted the parties’ Healthcare Agreement and continued to provide health benefits for the production employees.

  • The Healthcare Agreement between the unions and the Post-Gazette was required by Section 302 of the Labor Management Relations Act. This law requires a detailed, written agreement between an employer and a union if health benefits are provided by a union Taft-Hartley Health Fund. The agreement must set forth the health benefits being provided and the contribution rates to be paid.

  • In the fall of 2021, the Fund announced an increase in the cost of health insurance for 2022. Because the 2020 Healthcare Agreement did not provide for the increased contribution rates the Fund was requesting, the Post-Gazette and the production unions engaged in effects bargaining over a proposed amended Healthcare Agreement to provide the necessary writing to lawfully increase contributions to the Fund.

    The unions agreed in December 2021, that the employees would pay the increased rates for 2022 but refused to sign an amended Healthcare Agreement reflecting the increases. The provisions of the proposed Amended Healthcare Agreement were the same as the existing 2020 Healthcare Agreement; only the contribution rates were changed.

  • Because the unions refused to sign an Amended Healthcare Agreement despite the unions agreeing employees would pay the increased rates, the existing 2020 Healthcare Agreement continued in effect. Each month, the Post-Gazette continued to pay to the Fund the contribution rates set forth in the existing 2020 Healthcare Agreement.

  • No. The unions met with the Company once in February 2022, to bargain about healthcare. After that meeting, despite the Post-Gazette’s repeated requests for meetings to resolve the healthcare issue, the unions refused to meet.

  • At the end of August, without the knowledge of the Post-Gazette, the unions’ counsel agreed with Fund representatives to terminate the production employees’ health insurance on September 30, 2022.

  • On September 7, 2022, the Post-Gazette was notified by the Fund that health insurance for its production employees would cease on September 30, 2022. The Post-Gazette sent its monthly healthcare payment to the Fund for October 2022 coverage in early September as required under the existing 2020 Healthcare Agreement. The Fund refused to accept the Post-Gazette’s payment and promptly returned the money to the Post-Gazette.

    The Post-Gazette reached out to the unions about the Fund’s notice and requested bargaining to find a solution to the healthcare issue before September 30, 2022.

  • In August 2022, the unions’ counsel agreed with Fund representatives to terminate the Post-Gazette employees’ health insurance. The unions knew healthcare coverage would cease for the production employees a full month before September 30, 2022. Nevertheless, the unions did not agree to meet until September 27, 2022, just three days before the employees lost their healthcare.

  • No. The unions reneged on their December 2021 agreement to pay the increased costs for health insurance. The unions continued to refuse to sign any amended Healthcare Agreement which was necessary to lawfully increase the Post-Gazette’s contribution rates to the Fund for 2022.

    The Post-Gazette and the unions met again on September 29 and October 3, 2022. The Post-Gazette made several additional healthcare proposals in an attempt to prevent the loss of its employees’ healthcare. All of the Post-Gazette’s proposals were rejected by the unions.

    On October 5, 2022, the Company offered to meet on October 6, 2022 to continue effects bargaining over healthcare. The unions refused and called the employees out on strike later that day.
  • No. In an October 17, 2022 letter, the Post-Gazette stated it was ready and willing to engage in effects bargaining to find a solution to the Fund’s cancellation of the employees’ healthcare. The unions refused to meet again in 2022 to bargain over healthcare.

  • Despite repeated attempts by the Company to schedule bargaining dates over healthcare, the production unions met with the Post-Gazette eight times thus far in 2023 to find a mutually agreeable solution to the healthcare issue.
  • Yes. On June 13, 2023, the Post-Gazette proposed to participate in the Teamsters Local 261 Employees Welfare Fund. The Post-Gazette submitted a new Effects Bargaining Healthcare Agreement similar to the Healthcare Agreement the unions agreed to and signed in 2020. The agreement sets forth the benefits to be provided by the Fund and the contribution rates to be paid to the Fund.

    The proposed new Healthcare Agreement satisfies the legal requirement of Section 302 and protects the Post-Gazette and our employees from future Fund changes to the healthcare plan design and contribution rates over which the Post-Gazette would otherwise have no input or control. The Post-Gazette’s proposal guarantees that healthcare benefits and healthcare costs for our employees will be known and fixed until the Fund announces future benefit changes or increases contribution rates. At that time, the Post-Gazette and the unions can evaluate the Fund’s performance and agree to any adjustments to the Healthcare Agreement should the parties choose to continue participation in the Fund. The Post-Gazette relied on the unions’ counsel’s assurance at a June 9, 2023 meeting over healthcare that the new Fund will accept any agreement between the Post-Gazette and the unions regarding participation in the Fund.

    The unions have proposed that the Post-Gazette agree to a Participation Agreement modified by the unions’ counsel and the Fund’s Trust Agreement which allows the Fund to unilaterally change the benefits and the Post-Gazette’s costs for healthcare during the term of the Agreement and thereafter. Giving a third party unilateral control over the health benefits and healthcare costs is not in the best interests of the Post-Gazette and its production employees. The Post-Gazette has not accepted the unions’ proposal.

  • No meetings are currently scheduled to continue effects bargaining over healthcare.