Guild schedules second meeting

The Newspaper Guild has scheduled a second meeting for people who cannot make Sunday’s session.

A second chance to vote will occur between noon and 1 p.m. Monday, June 15, at the Desmond. (The library was unavailable.) Members can attend both sessions if they want to speak out and be heard, but naturally you can only vote once. You have to sign in at a table and then you will be handed a ballot. You must have paid the dues that were due May 10 in order to vote.

Absentee ballots will be provided only to those who can document that they will be away on vacation both days. If you are in that situation, please contact the Guild office and let us know. We will ask you to provide documenting information (copy of a plane ticket or hotel reservation) and will then provide you with an absentee ballot and instructions on how to complete it. There is a legally prescribed way that requires two envelopes. Absentee ballots are counted at the same time as every other ballot. There will be only one vote count with the results announced at the end of that Monday’s meeting.

“It is vitally important that members go to either one of the meetings for their entire duration,” Guild President Tim O’Brien said. “People need to give their colleagues a chance to be heard, to air their concerns and taking an hour to do so is not much to ask.”

To emphasize just how important this vote is, Guild International President Bernie Lunzer will be at Sunday’s session to talk to members about the state of the industry, how this proposal compares to others and why giving the Times Union a blank check to outsource any position is a bad deal. On Monday, we will be joined by International Secretary-Treasurer Carol Rothman, who comes out of the advertising department of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“Our national officers see this vote as so important, they are taking the time to come to Albany to attend our meetings,” O’Brien said. “We appreciate their support and advice, and we know our members will learn a great deal from listening to them.”

The decision to hold a second vote came after several requests were made to the union by people who could not attend Sunday’s meeting. At the same time, other members were equally adamant that we are one union and that everyone should take time to hear each other out at one hourlong session on a Sunday afternoon. That session is still scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday, June 14, at the Albany Labor Temple.

“In the end, we balanced those strong, divergent views by deciding to hold a second session, but it is a meeting and not just a chance to walk in, walk out and not listen to each other,” O’Brien said. “Voting will begin once everyone has had a chance to speak, though we are conscious of keeping it quick because people will be using their lunch hour on Monday.”

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