Hearst offer: Give up job security for $1,000, no raises after 7 years

More than a month after the Guild presented a comprehensive offer to settle the contract, Publisher George Hearst showed up Monday with his own ‘proposal.’

Employees would give up the right to any say in who gets laid off and what work gets outsourced, and they would receive a $500 bonus upon ratification and another $500 to be paid on August 1, 2010.

No, we didn’t get the date wrong. The publisher walked in the door, said his offer from 2009 still stands, and didn’t even bother to update his wage offer.  He did not propose any raises for Times Union workers, who have gone without a pay increase for more than seven years.

The union made a comprehensive settlement proposal on July 31.

As a refresher, here is what we proposed:

WAGES: A 2 percent raise retroactive to August 1, 2010; 2.5 percent raises effective August 1, 2014; August 1, 2015, August 1, 2016; and August 1, 2017.

OUTSOURCING: Our proposal says the Company would have to negotiate over any outsourcing, as it has to do under the imposed conditions.

LAYOFFS. The Company could lay off employees out of seniority, but those workers would get enhanced severance. If the Company tried to take away the added severance, it would also lose the language allowing out-of-seniority layoffs.

As we see it, we have three options for a response we will outline at this meeting:

Membership meeting
12:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 24,
at the Colonie Town Library


  • Ken Crowe

    Disappointing doesn’t come close to describing the company’s response. This remains a profitable newspaper with its multi-platforms.

  • Jordan

    Insulting is more like it. I’ve loved working for the Times Union for nearly 11 years, but you can’t buy diapers — or pay for your newspaper subscription, for that matter — with job satisfaction.

    There may be no salvaging this.

  • Larry Flynn

    I alway said I would retire from the times union. But with two small children I had to move on and think about them. 15 years was very hard to walk away from but better pay and a happy work environment were totally worth it. Best of luck to.

  • Mike Jarboe

    Beyond insulting. I thought the Guild’s offer was being taken as a serious step toward a settlement…at least that’s what management seemed to say when it was presented. Why did it take all this time to come up with the same offer that was made half an age ago? Time for the membership to be vocal in letting the company know that this is not acceptable to a bargaining unit that faces more challenges to doing a good job than ever before. Remember, folks — we’re all the union, and it’s time to get behind the leadership.

  • Oldschooler2012

    Several months ago, this newspaper told Gov. Andrew Cuomo that freezing the wages of management confidential state workers for five years was unacceptable, and did not reflect the values of our community. Does a different standard apply inside the Times Union itself?

  • bill federman

    Can we talk? The only surprising thing about this latest outrage is that anyone would be surprised. The Hearst chain has a long history of dishonorable dealings with the public and its employees. George Hearst is merely carrying on that putrid and dishonest tradition. I almost admire him, though. As a despot, he’s nearly perfect, down to the mustache that he probably twirls while cackling every time he screws his workers. Nice work, George. A man without a conscience or basic business sense is destined to go far, even without a family fortune propping him up.

  • Tim Davis

    This is not the same Times Union from which I retired The company I worked for valued their human assets and didn’t consider them liabilities. I understand companies today face difficult challenges but disrespecting the employees surely is not the solution.

  • Harry Griffin

    I was proud to work at the T.U. and for the Hearst Corp. and the family. The atmosphere was very people oriented and while we worked hard, the rewards were there. It was universally agreed that it was the best workplace in the region. It is so sad to see how that has degenerated. The place attracted..and forced out…some outstanding talent. They say they want innovative thinkers and “out of the box” approaches, but those are the very people they antagonize first. “Show me the money” is obviously the password to Hearst Corp’s new business model. Sad. I feel like I’ve lost a good friend. I suppose it would be passé to wonder why the company has felt the need to be so outrageous to its employees.

  • Dennis

    Sad to see it come to this. No rewards, not even respect, for the additional work we have been producing for the last several years just to keep things chugging.

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