Arbitrator rules that Blocks must pay increased Post-Gazette employee healthcare premiums; includes retroactive reimbursement

By December 30, 2019 No Comments

By Charlie Deitch
Pittsburgh Current Editor

Despite their best efforts, the Block Family, owners of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette must pay increased healthcare costs for their employees, according to an arbitrator’s ruling.

Arbitrator Jay Nadelbach wrote in his ruling:

“The grievance is upheld. The Employer violated the parties’ collective bargaining agreement by failing to maintain the agreed-upon health care benefits established in Article XX and as set forth in Exhibit B of the agreement.

“The Employer is directed to pay the amount necessary to maintain the specific health insurance benefit levels set forth therein (ie., all increases that may be required to keep the contractual level of benefits), subject to and until a new collective bargaining agreement is negotiated and reached between the parties.

“Employees shall be made whole for any out-of-pocket monies paid as a result of the Employer’s failure to maintain the contractual level of benefits.

“This Award is final and binding.”

“The arbitrator’s ruling shows in no uncertain terms that our position was right all along,” said Michael A. Fuoco, PG reporter and Guild president. “If the company wasn’t paying millions for bad legal advice from a union-busting attorney — as evidenced by this ruling and a recent federal court ruling regarding the Teamsters — we would have had fair and equitable contracts long ago.
“Our hope is the Blocks finally wake up and see there will be no union busting and it’s time to cut their losses, get rid of Lowe and negotiate in good faith. The future of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is at stake and we want to save it.”
You can check out all of the Pittsburgh Current’s coverage of the ongoing situation at the Post-Gazette here.

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