Keeping the internal printing coordinator will be less expensive than shipping the work to Connecticut, the Guild demonstrated Tuesday.
The union provided evidence that the Company dramatically underestimated the amount of work Mark DeCenzo does. Three boxes of plates tell the story: Last year, Mark DeCenzo produced 284 different jobs not the 180 the Times Union had claimed. The TU had counted material done directly through the marketing department, but DeCenzo has long done work for others who called or came to his office.
While the Company says it would cost an average of $300 per job for the work to be done in Connecticut, the Guild said the revised figures show that having the work done inhouse would cost an average of $260 each, a savings of $40 per job. In addition, the internal printer says he is willing to produce the single-page Smart Sheets for the newspaper, generating added revenue.
“It makes no sense to outsource the work,” Guild President Tim O’Brien said. “Mark always turns around work quickly and gets it to the person who needs it. You’re not going to get the same level of dedication and service by shipping the work out of state. And on top of that, it’s going to cost the Times Union more.”
The union also continued discussions with the Company over the layoffs. The union has filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board, and Guild leaders reiterated that the appropriate time to propose and negotiate layoff criteria is before an impasse is declared not afterward. The union also said the Company’s actions are a fait accompli, not a genuine effort to negotiate.
In questioning an editorial manager Thursday, it was revealed the Company developed its criteria in May, while the parties were in negotiations and before an impasse was declared. The manager also said in retrospect that some of the criteria — like scoring page designers as “below expectations” for not shooting video — made no sense.
The Guild pointed out that some reporters were graded as failing to meet expectations for not shooting video when they have asked for training and not received it.
The union also asked for copies of all the laid-off workers personnel files. The union had already examined the files and found major differences between the commentsmade in performance reviews and those made when it came time for layoffs. But on Tuesday, one laid-off worker told O’Brien he examined his own file and found glowing performance reviews missing.
“We had assumed the Company’s personnel records were complete, but now we need to let the targeted employees review their own files to make sure we’ve seen everything,” O’Brien said.
The Company complained that the Guild was not making a proposal on layoff criteria, but the union replied that it is still examining what the Company has proposed. At the same time, union bargainers are having to review the proposals to outsource maintenance and the print shop work all at the same time while doing their day jobs.