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.”