Guardian journalists are hopeful that sackings can be avoided as more than 50 editorial staff have now volunteered for redundancy.
Management want to cut 100 editorial jobs at The Guardian and Observer titles in order to achieve annual savings of around £7m.
Alternatives to job cuts put on the table by National Union of Journalists (NUJ) negotiators include a possible pay freeze and more job-shares.
Guardian and Observer journalists, more than 90 per cent of whom are in the NUJ, are currently holding a ballot over whether to hold a strike if the management presses ahead with compulsory job cuts.
Uniquely among UK national newspapers, The Guardian has never resorted to compulsory redundancies.
Meanwhile, journalists at The Times and Sunday Times are understood to have been invited to apply for redundancy.
News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch said last year that he wants all his newspaper titles to be profitable.