Buyout talks continue with company

The Guild is continuing its buyout talks with the Times Union over jobs in editorial online, advertising art/marketing and the district managers in circulation.

Late Monday, the company responded to our proposal with a new one of their own: Three weeks of severance per year of service with a minimum of 12 weeks and a maximum of 52.  Health insurance would be for the same time period.

Our committee — Guild President Tim O’Brien and members Marianne Mahr, John Michaels and Tim Neff — met Tuesday afternoon and provided a counter to the company. We made three changes: We raised the minimum to 21 weeks. (We had originally proposed 26.) We eliminated the maximum, because it would apply to very few people, perhaps only one person, and we added the phrase “or fraction thereof” next to years of service.

What that means is that if someone works half of a year or three quarters of a year, they would get credit for the full year.

That proposal is now in the hands of the company, and we are awaiting a reply. The parties are scheduled to meet Tuesday.

Once a buyout offer is finalized, we will get details on when people would have to apply, etc., and share those with you. Once the deadline is over and any buyouts are accepted, we would then see whether the company is satisfied with the number it gets or whether the TU then wants to turn to layoff negotiations. At that time, we would expect to continue our discussions about the work being outsourced.

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