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Special vote on health insurance and enhanced buyout for business office

A special vote will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019 to approve a health insurance package for 2020 as well as an enhanced buyout for impacted employees in the business office.

Earlier this month, the Company approached the Executive Board and business office employees about outsourcing the work done of five of the six employees in the office. Through negotiations an enhanced buyout package was reached to compensate the employees who have worked at the Times Union for many years.

Guild members are very pleased the Company is offering a non-precedent setting buyout package removing the 62-week cap for dismissal pay to compensate the longtime employees, providing 12 months of health insurance coverage as well as a $5,000 stipend for employees who have been asked to train their replacements in Houston.

For business office employees who take on another role at the Times Union, they will receive a $10,000 displacement payment.

The Executive Board unanimously approved the buyout package at a special meeting Wednesday, and recommends approval by the membership.

The proposed plan for health insurance in 2020 will drop $0.29 for those on the $850 deductible plan with MVP Healthcare. The deductible remains the same.

For members paying for the high-deductible ($3,000) there will be a slight increase depending on if you are single, single plus one, or have family coverage. This deductible will remain the same as well. If you’re single you’ll see a $1.07 increase each week in your paycheck for health insurance. For a single plus one, the increase will be $2.14 per week, and for family coverage it will increase $3.21 per week.

These figures are subject to change should the Company secure a lower rate with MetLife for dental, which in turn could reduce costs to members. The above estimates include Delta Dental for coverage. The coverage is changing from Guardian due to lower rates secured from other carriers.

Voting on both measures will be conducted in the Times Union cafeteria, and efforts will be made to make voting as easy as possible. Times will be announced prior to voting Wednesday.

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