From Guild President Tim O’Brien:
People often stop and ask me how I cope with all that is going on at the Times Union.
It is not easy on any of us, of course. The worry about layoffs, the insecurity about the future of our business, and the rough treatment by our employer are difficult for all of us.
But what keeps me and all of the bargaining team going is the support of our members. The pats on the back, the kind words, the expressions of support, all mean more than you know.
Today, when I stopped by my mailbox, I found a card inside. I opened the envelope to find a note with today’s date that simply said: “Tim — Happy Spring, Happy Easter, Happy Vacation. Thanks for all you’re doing for us. Maybe this will help you find a distraction.”
Enclosed was a gift card. It was signed “Your membership.”
I don’t choke up often, folks. I did then. I do now as I write this. I do not know who did this, but I thank you so much.
I also got an e-mail today from one of my younger colleagues. He thanked me and said he was amazed I was standing up to one of the biggest corporations in America. He talked about how much the union meant to him and how he recognized the wages and benefits he enjoys are the results of being able to bargain contracts.
It is those moments that keep you going. I am grateful to all of you and especially to John, Stacy and Mary, my bargaining teammates, who have every bit as much “brass” as I do, and to International Representative Jim Schaufenbil for his tremendous wisdom and advice.
But I am most grateful to the people I have seen least in recent weeks: My wife Karen and my children Shannon and Kevin. And so, for the next few days, I will be reacquainting myself with my family. The timing is such that I will be unavailable for bargaining next week.
My amazing wife Karen is a former TU reporter and past Guild member. She has given me the OK to spend part of my time off next week speaking to all of you at a membership meeting. We are currently working to schedule that at lunch time on Wednesday or Friday next week. We will get details to you on Monday.
Thank you all so much. These are trying times, but I am so proud to be your president. We represent so many good people who have dedicated themselves to the Times Union. I am grateful to you every day.