Company adds even more demands
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!
I want to make sure I understand this. The company ADDED demands this far into negotiations, and after off-the-record talks, which are in the real world used as a mechanism to enable progress?
This is not collective bargaining. And the company needs to be told that by the membership (that’s us, people).
At what point do we insist that the company begin bargaining in good faith? What would the NLRB say about this?
Why haven’t we heard anything yet about the layoffs that have already begun?
Not to minimize the pain of the part-timers who were laid off, but I assume the Guild did not make an official statement because the employees who were let go are not covered by the union.
OK. Fair enough. But the company certainly isn’t saying anything about it. Most people don’t even know anyone has been let go. Well, except those union employees who now have to absorb their duties for no extra compensation and in the same 37.5 hour week.
Many of us part-timers and temps would have become Guild members if there weren’t a hiring freeze on, and we came on board and stayed hoping that the situation might change.
We weren’t in these positions because we hate having health insurance.