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Guild members unanimously approve enhanced buyouts and health insurance change

The members of Albany Newspaper Guild TNG-CWA Local 31034 showed their support for colleagues in the Times Union business office Wednesday during a special vote.

The members voted 54-0 to approve a deal negotiated by the Guild with Times Union Publisher George Hearst for enhanced buyouts for members in the business office, whose jobs are being outsourced to Houston.

The members also voted 53-0 to adopt a change in the dental provider under the overall health insurance package.

“The turnout for the vote shows the Guild’s membership is involved and embracing the changes the Executive Board has promised,” President Amanda Fries said.

The election turnout was 70 percent of eligible voters.  It represented a 160 percent increase in participation since the last vote.

President Amanda Fries led bargaining teams that reached resolutions a week earlier on the enhanced buyout package and health insurance. The Guild Executive Board voted unanimously to recommend the membership back the measures.

The vote came a week after the membership elected the Executive Board to three-year terms.

The buyout and insurance votes were counted and certified Wednesday by Vice President Ken Crowe and At-large Board Member Jeff Boyer.

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