The Newspaper Guild of Albany will hold its annual meeting at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 13, at the Colonie Public Library.
Two open seats on the Executive Board are up for election after the retirement of former first vice president Bill Federman and the departure for a new job of third vice president Marci Schuck. The terms are for the remainder of this year. All board seats are up for election in September 2016.
The positions require attendance at the monthly Executive Board meeting, held at 5:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month. Board members develop bargaining proposals, make decisions on health care and other proposals, and decide on any grievances or other issues that arise.
It’s also a great way to get to know your colleagues within your own department and in other departments.
The annual meeting was delayed as the Guild was involved first in buyout negotiations and then health-care discussions. In addition, the union has been researching several possible changes to its bylaws. One would save money on workers’ compensation costs by merely changing the titles of two of the vice presidents to board member at large. Another proposed bylaw change would follow the national trend of renaming the local the Albany NewsGuild. A third would make the process of amending the bylaws in the future easier.
Currently, any change to the bylaws requires all members to receive notice by mail at least 30 days’ prior to a vote of the exact language to be changed. We had sought an opinion on whether we could send out postcards informing members of the vote and refer them online to the wording of the question. (We would provide written copies to anyone who did not have Internet access.) Ironically, we were told doing so would require an amendment of the bylaws.
We are finalizing the exact wording of the proposed changes and determining the timeline for when we can send out the letters for those changes, but did not want to delay voting on the open board seats any further.
Here are the details on how to run for a board seat:
The vacant positions are First Vice President and Third Vice President. The term will continue through December 31, 2016.
Members must be in good standing to run for office and to attend the nomination meeting. If you want to check your standing, email the Guild office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If there is only one nomination for any office, and the person accepts nomination, the person will be elected at the meeting. If there is more than one candidate for any office, a Local Elections Committee will be appointed and a mail-in ballot election will be held.
Nominations for any office may be from the floor, by petition. Petitions may be for an individual candidate in which the name of the candidate, his/her Local unit (if applicable), and department worked listed. Such petitions must also contain the names of at least 25 members. Individuals signing a petition must be members in good standing. These petitions must be filed with the local Secretary at the membership meeting. The secretary shall notify all candidates of their nomination and shall receive from them a written notice of their willingness to serve.