February’s Executive Board Meeting Agenda

There will be a meeting of Local 34’s Executive Board at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 8 at the Labor Temple. As always, these meetings are open to the membership.

Executive Board Agenda

  1. Approval of minutes
  2. Treasurer’s report
    • Monthly update
  3. Commission committee
  4. Communications committee
    • Newsletter
    • Website
  5. Mobilizing committee
  6. Grievances and arbitrations
  7. Contract negotiations
  8. Solidarity/support for other unions
  9. Old business
    • Donation committee
  10. New business
    • Executive Board Vacancies
  11. Adjourn

Guild receives $50,000 bequest from iconic newsman

A longtime area newspaper columnist with the Albany Times Union has left its workers’ union a $50,000 gift to help its mission of representing, assisting and advocating on behalf of the hard-working families who bring the newspaper to the Capital Region every day.

While Marv Cermak died Dec. 6 at age 84 after a seven-decade career in journalism, his legacy will live on through his generosity to the Albany Newspaper Guild, said President Tim O’Brien. The guild represents about 170 people who write, illustrate, deliver and line up advertising for the Times Union.

Cermak’s gift is the largest individual donation in the eight-decade history of the union. “I was so stunned, I swore in the union office: Holy —-,” O’Brien said. “As a colleague noted, that response, while unusual for me, was completely in keeping with Marv’s colorful way of expressing himself.”

A committee will be established by the union’s Executive Board to consider how best to use the money, O’Brien said. Potential preliminary ideas include a scholarship fund for the children of union members, an assistance fund for distressed employees, and a modest bonus for workers at the newspaper, where wages remain frozen by Hearst Corp. since 2008.

“We are profoundly grateful that Marv chose to honor his longstanding appreciation of the Guild in this way,” O’Brien said. “We want to make sure we honor him in the way we choose to use these funds.”

Cermak began his career as a sports writer for the Schenectady Gazette in the 1950s, later moving to the now-defunct Knickerbocker News, and later the Times Union, where he covered city politics and had a long-time column about the Schenectady area.

A recent obituary by Times Union writer Paul Grondahl recalled Cermak as a cantankerous, dogged and determined reporter with a deep network of sources. Even after retiring from the Times Union in 2002 and an injury five years ago that often confined him to his Mont Pleasant home, he continued writing his column “Covering Schenectady.” His last column ran on the day that he died

January’s Executive Board Meeting Agenda

There will be a meeting of Local 34’s Executive Board at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 11 at the Labor Temple. As always, these meetings are open to the membership.

Executive Board Agenda

  1. Approval of minutes
  2. Treasurer’s report
    • Monthly update
  3. Commission committee
  4. Communications committee
    • Newsletter
    • Website
  5. Mobilizing committee
  6. Grievances and arbitrations
  7. Contract negotiations
    • Health Care
  8. Solidarity/support for other unions
  9. Old business
  10. New business
    • Donation
  11. Adjourn

December’s Executive Board Meeting Agenda

There will be a meeting of Local 34’s Executive Board at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 14 at the Labor Temple. As always, these meetings are open to the membership.

Executive Board Agenda

  1. Approval of minutes
  2. Treasurer’s report
    • Monthly update
  3. Commission committee
  4. Communications committee
    • Newsletter
    • Website
  5. Mobilizing committee
  6. Grievances and arbitrations
  7. Contract negotiations
    • Health Care
    • Buyouts
  8. Solidarity/support for other unions
  9. Old business
  10. New business
  11. Adjourn

Company to start enforcing makeup day rules

Days will expire after one year if not used. Those earned before 2016 can be kept

The Times Union notified the Guild this week it will begin to enforce a long-neglected contractual provision that says makeup days must be used within one year of being earned.

The change will take effect January 1 and apply to makeup days earned in 2016. The Guild asked the Company to provide employees with a list of all makeup days they earned in 2016 as well as the date earned so people can start to track them.

The Company agreed people will be able to keep any makeup days they earned prior to 2016.

The Company is within its rights to require an existing contractual provision be followed, even if it has not done so in recent years. The problem had been with tracking makeup days.

With personal and vacation days, the same rules apply to all employees: Personal days must be taken within the calendar year. Vacation days must be taken by April 15.

With makeup days, the date each expires is one year from the date it was earned. Going forward, the Company will have to track each day for every individual, and the employee will have to track when they earned makeup days and when they expire.

If an employee is unable to take makeup days within a year due to work schedule conflicts, those unused days can carry over and be taken at a mutually acceptable time. The contractual language now being invoked  is on page 57 if anyone wants to look it up for themselves.

Guild to hold Executive Board meeting October 12 at Colonie Town Library

In an effort to meet our Executive Board members’ varied schedules, and to make our monthly meetings more accessible to our members as we gear up to resume negotiations, the Guild has decided to hold some of its regularly monthly meetings away from the union’s office.

This will begin with our meeting on Wednesday, October 12. Rather than hold the meeting at 5:30 p.m. in the union office at 890 Third Street in Albany, we will hold the meeting at lunch time at 12:30 p.m. at the library. We will be in a smaller room next to where the computers are toward the back of the library, not the larger space we use for membership meetings.

Members are free to come over on their own lunch hours to attend. The monthly board members are always open to the membership, but we hope by moving them occasionally to the library we will be more accessible. We hope to do this at least four times a year.

Executive Board Agenda

  1. Approval of minutes
  2. Treasurer’s report
    • Monthly update
  3. Commission committee
  4. Communications committee
    • Newsletter
    • Website
  5. Mobilizing committee
  6. Grievances and arbitrations
  7. Contract negotiations
    • Health Care
  8. Solidarity/support for other unions
  9. Old business
  10. New business
  11. Adjourn