Board to vote Tuesday on dues refund

The Guild’s Executive Board will meet at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Colonie Public Library to approve a plan to offer a 50 percent refund to members in good standing and 50 percent forgiveness to those who fell behind.

The meeting is open to any members who want to attend.

People who are now in good standing will get the rebate within the next two weeks. Those who are in arrears will have until October 1 to become current and still be able to receive the rebate.

For an employee in the top tier of pay classification C, the rebate will be about $900. Dues are a percentage of salary, so the rebates will also be a percentage of what employees paid.

The union will send invoices to those in arrears next week, detailing how much people owe and how much of their debt is being forgiven.

Those who need extra time beyond October 1 to pay what they owe can be placed on a payment plan. They will have six months to get their debt paid. As long as they stick to their payment plan, they will be considered members in good standing.

“For more than two years, the Guild has survived thanks to the continued support of our most loyal members and by tapping into the union’s reserves,” Guild President Tim O’Brien said. “With dues checkoff now restored and a more stable income base, the Executive Board decided that the Guild could afford to offer a rebate to our most consistent, loyal supporters. Without them, this union would not have made it through this difficult struggle.”

The union recognizes it has been difficult for many people to keep current, given that Times Union employees have not had raises in four years. The union continues to work toward a full settlement of its contract.

“The Executive Board members felt strongly that they wanted to maximize the number of members who could be returned to good standing,” said First Vice President Lindsay LaFountain. “While the board had discussed a smaller rebate, we concluded a larger one would be most effective both in paying tribute to those whose support never flagged and in convincing those who fell behind to return to good standing.”


  • wishing for a raise

    So, the guild actually expects those in arrears (and I imagine I’m close to $2k) to come up with half of that within 4 weeks?? Even breaking that down over 6 months is a real stretch.

  • Guild supporter

    Wishing, I don’t really understand your post. When you go to a store, do you load up your cart and go to the checkout, do you then point to the person in line behind you and tell the cashier “They’re paying for all this?” I have not had a raise either, but I have been current in my dues, and it wasn’t always easy. I figure it was the least I could do to support the efforts being made at getting an agreement without all the givebacks the company wanted. The international union provided extensive legal assistance, provided the assistance of international representatives and did other things to stave off the company’s assault on us. And you don’t want to pay while so many others have?

  • wishing for a raise

    @supporter that’s fabulous for you. The reality is for some of us -many of us – that $15 a week-plus helped greatly. It wasn’t a purposeful slight toward the union, it became more essential. And I in no way suggested I didn’t think I should have to pay back. It’s the timeline I’m questioning.

    Tim O’Brien replies: We’re willing to be flexible and work with people. We’re just trying to maximize the number of people who can be considered in good standing and can fully participate in the Guild.

  • Lindsay LaFountain

    Wishing for a raise,

    I myself seen things that I thought could have been done differently. So, instead of sitting by and complaining or stop paying my dues I decided I needed to get more involved.

    I understand that people want a raise, but taken from the Union to get it isn’t the way to get there seeing that we are pushing for that. I urge you to help us as a member to get there.

    As a mother of 3 toddlers things are very tight especially with recent cuts in commissions but I didn’t stop paying my dues instead I revamped the Commissions Committee to work with the company on current incentive plans.

    I would love to sit down and talk to you to hear your thoughts and concerns as well as answer any questions you may have.

    – Lindsay LaFountain

    “Be the change that you want to see in the world” Gandhi

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