Company declines four buyout offers

The Times Union has declined four employees’ requests for buyouts, the Guild learned Wednesday.

The Company has accepted 16 buyout requests to date and four to five more people may still be granted a buyout. Eleven people have signed the paperwork. Many of the workers will spend their last day at the Times Union Thursday. (Today as most of you are probably reading this.)

All four people whose requests were declined  work in the advertising department.

“If we gave these people a buyout, we’d have to replace them and that defeats the purpose of a buyout,” said Human Resources Director Carole Hess.

But one of the company’s out of town attorneys said that if the Company gained the contract language it wants on outsourcing, those positions could be eliminated at a later date.

Four of the five drivers are also contemplating a buyout as the Company has informed them that their positions are being shifted to independent contractors. Under  the current language on outsourcing, the drivers are the sole employees whose work can be contracted out. (The language also says they cannot be laid off, but the Company told them it would move them to other positions.)

Over the years, that exception to the outsourcing language has meant a decline in unionized drivers from 49 to five and now to zero, an indication of what happens when a company gets the unrestricted ability to outsource.

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