• News Guild continues contract negotiations with proposals on wages, health

    The Albany Newspaper Guild negotiating team met with Times Union representatives on the afternoon of Monday May 20, 2024.

    The bargaining session was off-the-record which means we can’t go into details.

    The Guild presented a comprehensive proposal covering wages, health insurance, retirement and contract language to reach a new contract.

    The Company representatives are reviewing the proposal. We expect to hear from them in June after the holiday weekend.

    The Guild is represented by President Ken Crowe, Secretary Wendy Liberatore and Executive Board member David Johnson.

    The company team is Publisher George Hearst and CFO Andy Lennartz.

  • Member update on contract negotiations

    The Albany Newspaper Guild and Times Union met on Tuesday, April 30, 2024 to continue off-the-record talks for a new contract.

    The bargaining Tuesday dealt with salaries, pension, 401K and health insurance. Due to the talks being off-the-record, details cannot be discussed at this time.

    The Guild negotiating team has repeated that the membership wants annual contractual raises. This was made clear in membership surveys and at the March membership meeting.

    The goal remains to achieve an agreement by the end of June.

    The Guild is represented by President Ken Crowe, Secretary Wendy Liberatore and Executive Board member David Johnson.

    The company team is Publisher George Hearst and CFO Andy Lennartz.

    The talks continue as the Guild was instrumental in obtaining passage in the state budget of the Newspaper and Broadcast Media Jobs program.

    For papers the size of the Times Union, it’s estimated it will generate $300,000 per year for three years in tax breaks. CWA District 1 and the NYS AFL-CIO worked with the Guild on the bill. The New York News Publishers Association worked with the Guild in securing passage.

  • Albany Newpaper Guild celebrates historic bill to support local journalism

    After nearly two years of advocacy at the state Capitol, the Albany Newspaper Guild, along with its union partners and news allies, are celebrating the successful passage of the historic Local Journalism Sustainability Act.

    The bill, sponsored by Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal and Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner, is the first in the nation designed to revitalize newsrooms through an employment tax credit. Included in the 2025 state budget, the bill will provide $30 million tax credit based on 50 percent of the first $50,000 of a journalist’s salary for the next three years. Publishers will only be able to use these employment tax credits to rebuild their newsrooms by hiring new reporters and sustaining their present staff.

    The organizing effort for this initiative has been spearheaded by the Albany Newspaper Guild, New York News Publishers Association, the New York State AFL-CIO, the News Guild-CWA and the Communication Workers of America beginning in 2022.

    Senator Hoylman-Sigal said, “The decline of local news across the country has led to the loss of one-third of newspapers and two-thirds of its journalists since 2005, leaving more than 200 counties as ‘news deserts’ without access to local news. In response, I’m elated that passed our first-in-the-nation Newspaper and Broadcast Media Jobs Program tax incentive in this year’s state budget. This new initiative will help strengthen local news coverage by creating a $30 million tax credit to hire and retain journalists for qualifying, independently owned print media or broadcasting entities, particularly those that have experienced workforce or circulation decline in the last five years. With this new tax credit, we’ll help ensure that New Yorkers are better informed and that democracy doesn’t die in darkness. I’m extremely grateful to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (herself a former local journalist), Governor Kathy Hochul and Assembly Member Carrie Woerner for their support of this landmark legislation.”

    Assemblywoman Woerner, said, “Local newspapers are disappearing, subsumed into national companies and relying on national content providers to fill their pages. On-the-ground trained journalists play a crucial role in keeping people informed about what is happening in their county, city, town, village or neighborhood. I am pleased that this year’s budget includes a new tax credit which supports these news companies to maintain and grow their newsroom staffs with local reporters.”

    Mario Cilento, president of the New York State AFL-CIO, said “The New York State AFL-CIO and its 2.5 million members strongly support the agreement to help struggling newspapers and associated journalism, editorial, and the many other jobs this industry creates. Journalism, particularly newsprint, is facing unprecedented hardship and this bill will not only protect existing jobs and encourage the creation of new ones, but it will help ensure the viability of a free and open press which is integral to our democracy. I congratulate CWA and its leadership for spearheading this effort.”

    Dennis G. Trainor, Vice President, CWA District 1 said “Supporting newspaper journalists and preserving local news coverage of New York’s communities is essential to a healthy democracy and vital to the local economy. This important measure will protect jobs, spur economic growth and seek to stabilize the news industry during these challenging times for local media. We are grateful to Governor Kathy Hochul, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner, for their leadership and commitment to this important issue.”

    Jon Schleuss, president of the NewsGuild-CWA said, “Journalists are the watchdogs of democracy and we have to support them. The NewsGuild-CWA applauds New York state for leading the country and passing first-of-its-kind legislation to support journalism jobs and recognizing the important role journalists play by shining a light and protecting our democracy.”

    Ken Crowe, president of the Albany Newspaper Guild, said, “The Governor and the Legislature took a major step forward in protecting democracy by supporting local journalism. We know when there is robust local newspapers, there is less corruption and more transparency, municipal bond rates are lower and public engagement in their communities is higher. Our thanks go to State Senator Brad Hoylman and State Assemblymember Carrie Woerner for sponsoring this effort.”

    Susan DeCarava, president of the NewsGuild of New York said, “We are thrilled that our lawmakers have taken this step to protect local news, which is so vital to our democracy. This ground-breaking tax credit recognizes that local news has hit a crisis in our state and the way to begin to reverse it is by protecting and creating new jobs for journalists. There is no local news without journalists.”

    Timothy Kennedy, Chairman, New York News Publishers Association and President, Syracuse Post-Standard, said “Thank you to Governor Hochul and the Senate and Assembly leadership for taking time to understand the plight of the news industry across the state and pass legislation that will support local journalism. Local news is vital to our state and to our country. This legislation will not resolve all our challenges, but it is of enormous benefit especially to those organizations under the most financial stress. I also want to thank the members and staff of the New York News Publishers Association who led this effort over the past 2 years with a focus to help as many news organizations across the state as possible. “

    Diane Kennedy, President, New York News Publishers Association said, “The New York News Publishers Association applauds Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblymember Carrie Woerner for taking the lead to save local news by introducing the Local Journalism Sustainability Act, and Governor Kathy Hochul for including the legislation in her budget. This legislation will keep journalists on the job, providing New York State residents in cities, suburbs and rural areas with news about their local governments, schools, community organizations and neighbors. Today, New York becomes the first state in the country to officially recognize the vital role journalism plays in its communities by acting to save local news.”

    Jon Harris, President of the Buffalo Newspaper Guild said, “The Buffalo Newspaper Guild appreciates the efforts of the legislators, union members and industry advocates who helped get the right version of the Local Journalism Sustainability Act into the final budget. The tax credits in this bill are meant to help retain journalists and to encourage the hiring of new staff members, giving the industry — and the communities and the readers we serve — a much-needed boost. Since 2020, 45 percent of Buffalo Newspaper Guild jobs across many departments at The Buffalo News have been cut. We’re hopeful this legislation can help reverse that trend. It is now up to us to ensure our employers are using this tax credit responsibly and as intended in the legislation — the use of taxpayer money demands that kind of accountability. “

    Michelle K. Rea, Executive Director, New York Press Association/New York Press Service said, “Hundreds of news publishers of all sizes from all corners of the state wrote editorials, news articles, spoke with legislators and business and civic leaders, working for months to advance this bill.  Publishers statewide are grateful for the thoughtful and diligent leadership of the Governor, Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal, Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins, and Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner in negotiating the passage of this ground-breaking legislation.  These tax credits will provide meaningful support, assisting local news organizations in their mission to keep local citizens informed and engaged in the things that matter most in their daily lives.”