In the first on-the-record session since June, the Company came in with a new proposal that made more demands.
One revision would give the Company the unilateral right to change health insurance plans and your share of any deductible. The new plan would not have to be comparable, as the current language requires.
“In a proposal full of tough sells, you’ve added another one,” Guild President Tim O’Brien told Company bargainers.
So if you want to know if the Company is grateful that you agreed to switch to the MVP plan, the answer is no. They are still mad you and your union carefully examined and weighed the proposal, and they don’t want you to have the right to do that again.
And starting January 1 next year, they want your share of health care costs to leap from 16 percent to 25 percent. And they want to bar married couples who both work at the Times Union from receiving the health-insurance buyout when one partner opts out of coverage.
The Company also proposed that overtime only be paid after you work 40 hours a week. The work week would still be 7.5 hours a day and 37.5 a week. You would not get any overtime for working more than 7.5 hours a day, only if you worked more than 40 in a week. Any work down between 37.5 and 40 hours would be at straight time.
The proposals to allow the Company to outsource your work, cut your pay and reduce seniority rights in event of layoff all remain on the table. The Company still wants the right to change your days off without your agreement, although they removed the proposal to let them split your days off against your will.
The Company said a proposal on wages would come later. Attached is a current copy of the company’s proposal.
After dropping all that on the table, the Company then again canceled the next scheduled bargaining session. The parties are set to meet at 10 a.m. Feb. 26, March 10, March 11 and March 26 and at 1 p.m. March 25.
Guild bargainers took some time afterward to discuss how to respond to the Company’s offer. The answer: Mobilize!