Bake sale takes a bite out of parking costs by raising $5,000

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With the company refusing to cover our colleagues’ parking costs, the Los Angeles Times Guild turned to an unlikely source of help: Pie. And berry cobbler. And peanut-butter balls. And fruit cups.

The Guild's bake sale Thursday in El Segundo featured a smorgasbord of homemade desserts and raised more than $5,000. 

The first confections to sell out were the whoopie pies. The last to be sold: two date nut bars wrapped in Ziploc bags.

Thanks to all who gave, both inside the building and out, including staffers from the New York Times, Washington Post and Deadspin.

The money collected will cover nearly five months of parking fees for Times Community News journalists in the downtown L.A. bureau.

The company has balked at adequately subsidizing parking costs for downtown employees. That burden is most acute for TCN journalists, whose yearly salary is less than $40,000.

Under the company’s current offer, TCN journalists pay more than $1,000 of their annual salary just to park at work. Journalists in Metro would pay even more -- nearly double the already excessive fees prior to the El Segundo move. 

We find that plan half-baked. Journalists are expected to be mobile, covering their beats and responding to breaking news. The company should cover our parking, period.

While the company has had our proposal for weeks, journalists in downtown L.A. have seen their salaries eaten away by garage charges.

Sensing a need, the Guild asked its members to show their opposition with butter, flour and sugar. 

We're hoping the company's stance changes before journalists' bank accounts curdle. So far, the company’s response has left a bitter taste.