The Times Union’s proposed cutting of six more jobs would harm the newspaper’s quality, members said at a meeting Thursday to discuss the proposal.
The company is proposing to eliminate four jobs in advertising art/marketing and two in online editorial. Company officials made a proposal earlier this week to offer buyouts targeted only to those positions.
The Guild called a meeting at the Colonie Public Library with affected workers to discuss the proposal and how best to respond.
With the Times Union hiring additional advertising sales staff – a step members welcomed – employees questioned how more ads could be handled with fewer workers to create them. During its law-breaking layoff of workers last year, the Times Union already cut two advertising artist positions. Other jobs have been lost due to promotions.
After a recent revamping of the newspaper’s Web site, readers and advertisers have begun to complain about the heavily formatted site that reduces the visibility of the breaking news that is the heart of what the Times Union does.
Workers in the online area also said they do far more than post items to the Web. They work closely with writers and editors to highlight local reporting and to think of creative ways to draw eyes to stories, photos and video.
While the Times Union claimed the jobs were being cut, not outsourced, employees expressed skepticism of that claim since workers at the Hearst Connecticut papers can make changes to the TU’s Web site.
Employees Marianne Mahr, John Michaels and Tim Neff agreed to join President Tim O’Brien at the bargaining table to discuss the company’s proposal. First, these employees will gather information from their colleagues. The Guild also has reached out to our International for help in these talks.