Post: No Holiday Party Or Raises for $65,000-plus employees

In what might be called a progressive move, the Palm Beach Post is giving employees at the company who make $65,000 and less a 2 percent raise this year. Those making more than that are out of luck; they'll see no increase. Also on the chopping block: Holiday parties, which will get no funding this year, according to a memo from Publisher Doug Franklin.

Franklin's answer to the holiday party conundrum: Have potlucks.

Included among those left out in the cold (with frozen salaries) are all company executives.

"It is important for you to know that executives at PBNI will not receive pay increases during 2009," Franklin wrote. "This decision is reflective of the need to reduce expenses and demonstrate leadership as we confront our economic challenges together."

Here's Franklin's memo:

Dear Colleague,

As the economy continues to slow because of the worldwide economic downturn, we look towards next year with concern. It looks as if the slowdown in revenue that has plagued us all year will continue into 2009. Against that backdrop, PBNI, like all businesses, is forced to balance our operational priorities against the realities of maintaining a healthy business in this environment. We have had to make tough decisions this year to find a road back to profitability.

I am writing you today to inform you of our compensation plans for 2009. We will be able to provide a company pool for increases of 2 percent for next year for only those employees who earn less than $65,000 (base pay or with commission) per year. We will not have increases for those top 150 employees who earn $65,000 or over (base pay or with commission) next year. Those who receive promotions will merit further review on a case-by-case basis, and we will continue to link raises to job performance. So, while some may get more than 2 percent and others less, the company average will be 2 percent for 2009 for those eligible for increases.

It is important for you to know that executives at PBNI will not receive pay increases during 2009. This decision is reflective of the need to reduce expenses and demonstrate leadership as we confront our economic challenges together.

We will be re-evaluating our compensation and bonus structure for next year to be more aligned with pay for performance. More will be forthcoming regarding the compensation and incentive programs that will be designed. We continue to offer one of the best in market compensation and benefit programs.

We are pleased to continue our tradition of awarding end-of-year bonus to our employees. It is an appropriate way to say thank you for your contribution to our operation. However, we will not fund departmental Holiday parties this year. We encourage you to celebrate by having departmental pot luck luncheons or dinners.

Thank you for your efforts to make PBNI successful. I know you share my desire that we meet the challenges before us and succeed well into the future.

Sincerely,

Doug

Doug Franklin

Publisher

The Palm Beach Post

Palm Beach Daily News

Florida Pennysaver

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