Guild makes offer to settle contract

The Guild made a comprehensive package proposal on Wednesday to settle the entire contract.

You can read it here.

The proposal makes a number of significant changes.

On wages, the Guild proposed a $750 bonus upon signing and another one on August 1, 2010. Previously, the union had proposed a $1,500 signing bonus (essentially raises for 2009 and 2010) and a 3 percent raise in 2011.

The Guild proposed to eliminate a cap on the number of employees who could be laid off outside of seniority.  The Company would have to show the people they skip have demonstrable skills or exceptional ability.

Language that would have required outsourced work to remain in the Capital Region was struck. The union proposal calls for limiting layoffs to no more than six percent of the staff, or roughly 12 positions, in a year, which is quite a lot. No one could be laid off to effect outsourcing.

The union dropped its proposed increase in the pension contribution from $1.05 to $1. The current contribution has been at 85 cents for more than 20 years. With fewer employees and a weakened stock market, it is not too much to ask the TU to make the first increase in contributions in decades.

The Guild also proposed to agree to the increased share of health insurance costs the Company proposed. In return, however, the Company would agree to keep the deductible cap at $750.

The Guild eliminated all the upgrades it had proposed except for the title of niche salesperson, the lowest paid job in  the union. The commissions these workers once got, which made up for their low wage, are much harder to come by now.

“This was a significant move by the Guild, offering substantial concessions and demonstrating our ongoing willingness to negotiate,” Guild President Tim O’Brien said.

Sadly, the Company refused to respond on any of the issues. The Company’s refusal to bargain in good faith and illegal declaration of an impasse led the union to file charges with the National Labor Relations Board.

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