Hilo newspaper official,
guild chief trade salvos

Tribune-Herald staffers have had
temporary contracts for 15 months

HILO >> Contract negotiations at the Hilo-based Hawaii Tribune-Herald made a splash this week with management ads listing employee salaries.

Employees have been working under temporary contracts for 15 months.

The first splash was last week when the staff tried to paddle a canoe in Hilo Bay but tipped it over and fell in the water, said Hawaii Newspaper Guild Administrator Wayne Cahill.

But radio personality Ken Hupp saw a union flier at the event and invited Cahill onto his show.

Tribune-Herald Publisher Jim Wilson then ran full-page ads on Sunday and Tuesday saying, "We will not negotiate our contract in the pages of this newspaper."

Wilson did publish the salaries of staff from reporters to janitors, saying their pay is among the best on the island.

About half a dozen people asked for job applications when they saw the salaries, as much as $22.48 an hour for reporters, Wilson said.

Cahill was ready Wednesday with a $3,730.46 ad of his own agreeing with Wilson about good pay.

The employees at the Stephens Media Group paper earn well because they have unions, while employees at Kona-based West Hawaii Today, also owned by Stephens, earn less because they do not have unions, the ad said.

The Tribune-Herald refused to print the ad.

Wilson, a 36-year resident of Hawaii, also accused Cahill of being a "recent transplant" from the mainland. Cahill said he has lived here seven years. He said the Tribune-Herald's negotiator, attorney Michael Zinser, lives in Nashville, Tenn.


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