Guild negotiators presented a revamped proposal to enable workers to spend up to a week providing assistance to a nonprofit in the community.
The proposal would allow up to 5 employees in each department each year to go on a “Community Service Leave.” They would have to specify the agency where they would work, what they would do and have a supervisor there complete a time slip.
“This would allow employees a chance to spend some significant time helping in the community,” Guild President Tim O’Brien said. “It would also be a great way for the Times Union to promote itself and its willingness to support organizations that often struggle to find people to do good work.”
The Guild shared with the Company an article from the December 2000 @Hearst company newsletter by Pamela Fiori, editor-in-chief of Town and Country magazine. She concluded: “You don’t have to be rich or famous to be charitable. Most people give quietly. Some give anonymously. Others volunteer their time — and lots of it. More and more, employers not only understand this impulse but encourage it — to the point of matching funds and permitting time off for good deeds, even sabbaticals for community work. What a nice thought. A generous one, too.”
Company General Manager George Hearst praised the “very worthy, wholesome proposal,” but suggested it would require the Company to backfill the vacated positions. Guild International Representative Jim Schaufenbil asked how often the Company assigns a person to fill in when an employee is on any other type of leave.
The Company said it has given some employees’ time to work on charitable causes.