News regarding the Chicago Sun-Times and its former photo staff is usually of the negative variety. Whether we were covering how the entire staff was unceremoniously laid off, or the fact that they were being replaced by iPhone photography classes, there hasn’t been much positive news to report.
That changes today (at least to some degree) thanks to a settlement between Sun-Times Media and a newsroom employees union that managed to get four of the 28 photographers their jobs back, and secure a $2,000 one-time payout for the rest.
Of course, 4 of 28 isn’t a great percentage, and $2,000 isn’t a settlement anybody covering the story has been inclined to call ‘generous,’ but it is certainly better than nothing and represents one small win for the former Sun-Times photojournalists.
According to the NPPA, the agreement does come with several strings attached. For one, there is no guarantee that the four re-hired photographers will return to the flagship newspaper in Chicago, only that four photojournalist spots will be made available within Sun-Times Media.
There’s also no mention of who they will select or how they will go about doing it, and the entire settlement hinges on the photographers in question agreeing to drop an unfair labor relations charge with the National Labor Relations Board.
Response to the settlement has been luke-warm, but warm nonetheless. As photojournalist Rob Hart explained to News Photographer magazine today, “Two thousand dollars isn’t much, but for people with kids at least it’s something to put toward college or something.”
(via Imaging Resource)