St. Petersburg Times cuts salaries by 5 percent, phases out health coverage for company’s retirees

The budget cuts that have hit media organizations across the country continue with another announcement yesterday — this one from St. Petersburg Times editor Paul Tash.

Jim Romenesko’s blog at Poynter posted Tash’s memo to the St. Pete Times company staff announcing a 5 percent salary cut for all employees beginning Nov. 2. The second part of the announcement that health coverage for the company’s retirees will be phased out.

In the memo, Tash wrote: “We will help retirees identify other choices for health coverage, and we support efforts to expand health care options for all Americans.”

Certainly the country could use the reporting and writing skills of The St. Petersburg Times to help figure out and write about the health care situation in our country.

As the health care legislative debate continues, we seem to be moving more toward tweaks to the health care system than change.  And what would be the truly reforming part of the legislation  — universal coverage — may be dropped as part of getting something approved.

So additions to the informed and reasoned discussion are welcome. With more people not having employer-sponsored health care, more of us have a personal interest in seeing Congress take on this contentious but so important issue.

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