Why the Guild still matters

Why pay dues? Does the Guild still have any say? What can the union do next? Are we still going to party?

These are all good questions we’ve been getting from our members.

We’ve been a little focused elsewhere lately, as the National Labor Relations Board has been reviewing our legal case in response to the Times Union’s recent actions. We’ve spent our time giving sworn affidavits and getting documents to the board. We expect the Times Union to be charged shortly, frankly, with breaking the law repeatedly in its dealings with the Guild. We’ll advise you as soon as that becomes official.

We are also planning a membership meeting for early November, to be held at lunch time nearby, so that you can learn about what is happening and what it means to you. There will be a seat on the Executive Board to fill as well. We’ll provide you with information on how to run or to nominate someone as soon as we have a meeting date and place set.

As for the Guild, we continue to do what we’ve always done. We are preparing for the annual discussion with the Company of next year’s health insurance rates. We will be giving you a survey soon on your experiences with MVP (and letting you complete the survey online.)

And, yes, we are still planning to have our annual Holiday Party at the Pump Station. It’s scheduled for Friday, December 4. You can bring one date (spouses count as dates, you know) but you must be a member in good standing to attend, naturally.

If you’ve fallen behind on your dues, please do try to catch up because the amount owed will continue to increase. All of it will have to be paid at the time of a settlement. It’s unfair for some people to pay for the benefits they receive and others not to do so.

And let’s clear up any confusion: The Company cannot impose any other changes. It cannot suddenly decide to lay more people off without negotiation or without paying severance. It cannot decide to split people’s days off or to impose pay cuts. Your pension benefits are still in place, the rules for how much vacation time you get and how those weeks are assigned all still apply. Almost all of the provisions of the contract remain in effect.

The Guild has been at the Times Union 75 years this year. We’re still here, proudly serving our members, and will be for a long time to come. If you have any questions, please call my cell phone at 466-8700. If I am working, I’ll return the call and we’ll find a mutually agreeable time to talk.

Tim O’Brien

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