Pioneer Press offers unpaid leaves of absenceby Toni Randolph, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The Pioneer Press says it will let employees take unpaid leaves of absence as a way to cut costs.
Newspaper officials also say they hope the leaves will give employees some flexibility.
The Pioneer Press offered unpaid leave to workers in 2001 and 2002.
Mike Bucsko is the executive director of the Newspaper Guild, the union which represents newsroom and other employees at the Pioneer Press.
He said the option for unpaid leaves is included in the current four-year contract. And he said unpaid leave is a creative way of trying to reign in costs.
"It's better, maybe, that people do consider something like this before some other drastic measures have to be implemented. Because, as I said, this is a less painful way of achieving some efficiencies and some cost-savings," Bucsko said.
Bucsko said, so far, not many people have signed up for the unpaid leave.
The last round of buy-outs at the Pioneer Press was in July of last year. The current union contract has a 14-month moratorium on lay-offs. The moratorium ends at the end of December.