Guild members to vote Wednesday on contract mandated company buyout offer

The Guild will present the company’s buyout offer for the consideration of its members on Wednesday, May 29 from noon–1 pm & from 5–6 pm in the executive conference room on the 2nd floor. A “yes” vote means that the offer can be considered by individual members.

Under the terms of the current Guild contract, the company first make a buyout offer to workers who are willing to leave prior to pursuing any potential layoffs.

The company’s offer calls for two weeks pay for every year of service with a minimum of 4 weeks pay and a maximum of up to 62 weeks. Years of service would be calculated as of May 1, 2019 and would not include fractional years.

Concurrent health care coverage would be capped at 52 weeks, even for those who qualify for the buyout beyond 52 weeks pay. Those who choose not to accept that health care would not be bought out for any portion of the value of that declined coverage.

Anyone who would like an exact buyout figure should request one from HR immediately. 

The deadline for applying for a buyout would be the end of the business day on June. 7 with Human Resources. Filing an application in no way obligates the person to accept a buyout, if offered. The company has sole discretion over accepting or rejecting any and all buyout applications.

Anyone who signs a buyout offer has seven days to withdraw it, should they choose.

The company will not challenge unemployment claims. And those who accept buyout payments can preserve their unemployment eligibility if they hold their release form until 22 days after their last day of employment and then sign it, according to Human Resources.

We suggest anyone with questions in this specific regard contact HR as well as their local state unemployment office to ensure this situation.

To receive the buyout, workers would have to sign a perpetual release that indicates the worker will make no future claims against the company.

Pension benefits and accrued benefits, such as vacation time, makeup days and personal days are guaranteed by our contract, and would be paid at the time of the buyout. Commissions would be included in the buyout calculation for advertising sales staff.

Under our contract, members must vote on whether this package should be offered for consideration. If the buyout offer is rejected, then the company can initiate layoffs. Under the contract, layoffs would be based on reverse seniority order (first in-last out). The company would have to give 45 days advance notice to anyone subject to layoff, or provide 45 days pay, per our contract.

This vote is open only to members in good standing, which means that you have signed a News Guild union card and a dues checkoff card. If you have any questions on your status or the buyout offer, please contact your Guild officers: Brian Nearing (x5094) Amanda Fries (x5353), Marianne Mahr (x5589), Rob Gavin (x5064), Mark Hempstead (x5675), and Jeff Boyer (x5429)

The language of the buyout is on the reverse side of this flyer.

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