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Guild assists member with serious medical diagnosis, changes at the TU, and upcoming events

A Message from the President

I encourage each of you to read thoroughly the one-sheet that has come along with this month’s installment of the Guild newsletter.
Many of you may have been asking yourselves, “what exactly does the Guild do for me?” and this one sheet helps shed some light on those benefits. And certainly, we’re looking to expand on those protections.
As newsrooms across the country join the fight to unionize, we at the Times Union are lucky to have a solid foundation to work from. We work in an ever-shrinking industry that has been devastated by cuts across the board, but being union-protected allows each of us to have a say in the future of this industry.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be asking each member to provide your thoughts on what you appreciate most out of a collective bargaining agreement and what additional protections and efforts the Guild should be working toward. Our industry is changing rapidly as are our work environments, and we want to make sure we’re not left behind. Unions have always led on workplace issues – from child labor to minimum wage to the average workweek – and who’s to say we can’t continue to do so?
Moving forward requires us to have a better understanding of what each of you want out of your union, and we look forward to your responses!
Yours in solidarity,
Amanda Fries
President, Albany Newspaper Guild
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Helping members in need

The Guild will be donating $1,000 to a member who is facing a serious medical diagnosis and time away from their family.
This is similar to other past instances when the Guild has donated money to assist in fundraising efforts already put in motion by so many caring and dedicated Times Union employees. If you would like to inquire about donating individually in this most recent effort, contact Guild Secretary Lauren Stanforth at ext. 5697 or lstanforth@timesunion.com.
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Positions added to Guild highlight changes coming to Times Union

Hearst and the Times Union are embarking on a plan to build a digital future, and the Albany Newspaper Guild is making sure our members are part of it.
So far, changes have impacted the circulation and editorial departments, which a new commission plan proposed for circulation customer service representatives and new positions on the digital side of the Times Union newsroom.
The Guild recently negotiated the addition of four new jobs to be added to the positions we represent, which means the company’s plans include us.
Management’s goal is to have 300,000 digital subscriptions at the metro newspapers in the next two years. The Times Union’s share is 25,000 digital subscriptions. Right now we have about 6,800 digital subscriptions which is expected to pass 7,000 by the end of the year.
Our members in circulation are involved in the drive to build up those digital subscription numbers. The Guild and Company continue to discuss the new commission program, and our team led by President Amanda Fries is waiting for management to get back with additional information so we can ensure the circulation reps get a good deal.
In editorial, five positions have been added to increase the Times Union’s digital presence and increase audience engagement. Four of those jobs are the Guild. Just one will be exempt. Fries, along with Vice President Ken Crowe and Board Members Jeff Boyer, pointed out that there are too many exempt jobs given the size of the staff.
The Guild positions are Online Content Manager, TU Multimedia Producer, Content Producer and Data and BI Analyst. The exempt position is Director of Audience.
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Eat before your shift Wednesday, Nov. 20!

The Guild will have coffee and breakfast foods that morning, as well as pizza in the late afternoon, in the second-floor break area (the former cafeteria) for members on Nov. 20.
Come get some free drinks and grub on the Guild before your work begins! More details to come on the times food will be available.
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Mark your calendars for the Guild’s annual Christmas party on Dec. 6.

We’ll be gathering at the Warehouse Grill & BBQ for drinks and food. Times and further details will be shared closer to the event.

We look forward to seeing a strong gathering of members to celebrate the holidays!

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