Members approved a buyout offer at a meeting Tuesday at the Colonie Public Library, and they also supported changing the bylaws to set Oct. 30 as the date members needed to in good standing on in order to vote in the upcoming Guild election.
The buyout offer will pay three weeks of pay for every year of service, with a minimum of 15 weeks and a maximum of 52. Employees will get health-care coverage for the same period of time, and the company has agreed not to challenge unemployment claims.
The Times Union has said it is targeting specific positions in advertising art/marketing, the Web desk and among district managers, but no one is barred from applying. The company also might approve a buyout if one of the people in targeted areas could then move into that position. (For example, a Web desk person could become a page designer.)
Interested members will have until Nov. 9 to apply. Publisher George Hearst said people will be informed if their buyout is accepted the week of Nov. 15–21, with their last day being the end of that week.
The union members also approved a change to the bylaws that changes the date to be in good standing for the union election from Sept. 30 to Oct. 30. All members who are in good standing as of Oct. 30 are now eligible to vote and will be receiving a ballot around Nov. 19 in the mail. Please read directions carefully and put in the mail before Dec. 14.
Members also learned that the company is in the midst of providing information to the alternative health-care provider the Guild proposed for consideration. We will make information on where that leads as soon as it is available.