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Boston Globe Guild Caves

Two weeks after rejecting a concession package with management, the Boston Globe's guild "re-negotiated" a new deal with parent New York Times Co. that varied little from one that was rejected by a mere 12 votes.

Guild leadership this time expressed confidence that the rank-and-file will ratify the new agreement quickly. The package still calls for a $10 million concession from the guild to allow the Globe to stay afloat. And all key provisions that management had demanded, including the elimination of the lifetime job guarantee, are also left unchanged from the original deal. The only major difference appears to be that the guild would accept a 5.9 percent paycut instead of an 8.4% one, in exchange for deeper cuts in other benefits packages.

When the first deal was scuttled by the guild vote, management immediately imposed a 23% paycut that had been in effect for the past two weeks.

What's also different is that the NYT Co. has also put the Globe up for sale. Recent reports indicated that Stephen Pagliuca, co-owner of the Boston Celtics, Jack Connors, co-founder of a major advertising firm and chairman of Partners HealthCare, and Stephen Taylor, a former Globe executive and member of the family that sold the Globe to the Times in 1993 are among potential bidders. The Time Co. paid over $1 billion for the Globe but is now willing to part with the paper for around $20 million.

The guild has scheduled for a vote on July 20. And now with the backing with its leadership, most expect the new package to be ratified.

Brian Mooney, a veteran reporter who spoke out against the last proposal, says he remains unsure of this agreement until he reviews it. But he said the general rank and file view seems to be it is worth accepting.

"Everyone wants to see the numbers and I don't think it will be unanimous, but it probably puts some wind at their backs," he said of the supporters. "It is a tentative agreement which means the bargaining committee and the company have agreed this is the best they will do."