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Tribune Looks to Unions for Wage Proposal

January 08, 1991|MARTHA GROVES and DAN MORAIN | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

SAN FRANCISCO — Negotiations at the struggling Tribune in Oakland continued Monday and were to resume today as union officials attempted to ease the effects of an 11% pay cut that management said is necessary to keep the newspaper alive.

One reporter, who said that many staff members are resigned to accepting a drastic cut in pay, said the union is attempting to negotiate something in return, perhaps a commensurate reduction in work hours or permission to do unlimited free-lance work for other Bay Area publications.

The pay reduction, outlined in a letter last week from Editor and Publisher Robert C. Maynard, would affect employees earning more than $25,000 a year. The Tribune has about 600 employees, down from about 725 in June, when Maynard announced the latest series of cutbacks. The Times incorrectly reported Sunday that the Tribune has 500 employees.

"We are looking to the unions to . . . come up with a (workable) proposal," said Leroy F. Aarons, who last week announced his early retirement as senior vice president for news after seven years at the Tribune.

Aarons, 57, who is expected to leave the paper Jan. 18, was participating in negotiations and intends to remain as a member of Oakland Tribune Inc.'s board.

Of his decision to retire, Aarons said: "It became clear that, as the size of the newsroom diminished, . . . the paper was getting too small to need an executive editor." Aarons said he intends to pursue other interests, among them writing plays.

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