The Albany Newspaper Guild has written Times Union Publisher George Hearst to request a meeting on diversity to create a joint path forward on this very important issue.
The Guild’s Diversity Committee has met several times and briefed the Executive Board at its July meeting regarding the progress it has made.
The Diversity Committee, which is open to all Guild-represented employees, is developing proposals intended to improve the Times Union’s commitment to a workforce which reflects the diversity of the Capital Region. The committee is drafting goals that would engage the Guild and the Company in a joint process acknowledging the wide ranging diversity of the community population; those who live and work in the Capital Region; and those who subscribe and advertise in the product we, the Times Union employees, create daily in an effort to keep readers informed while embracing a broad range of life experiences.
The Guild has recently learned that the Times Union is approaching individual employees about serving on a company constituted committee. While we are excited to see these efforts move forward, the Guild wants to ensure the dialogue around forming a Company diversity committee and the selection of its members is fair, transparent and inclusive. The Guild, in its continuing efforts to rebuild a collegial labor-management relationship, suggests that Publisher George Hearst enhance the communications we’ve jointly strengthened over the past year by working together to improve diversity at the Times Union utilizing an inclusive and transparent joint labor-management committee process.
Members of the Guild’s Diversity Committee previously sought information regarding the announced Company committee, including the framework of the committee, how members would be selected and when the committee would meet. The Company on July 15 said those details were not available, but noted that when and how the meetings will take place and how they are structured will be up to the members. Management also sent along this mission statement:
Hearst Newspapers Diversity Statement
At Hearst Newspapers, we represent the independent & diverse voice of our communities. We celebrate & value the diversity and unique experiences that all our employees bring to the table. We are committed to fostering an inclusive culture, where our most important asset – our employees – are provided with opportunities to grow, express themselves, and build upon our rich history.
Diversity Committee Purpose
Hearst Newspapers Diversity Committees Groups are independent, voluntary, employee-led, company-sponsored, networks of employees who share common interests formed to assist Hearst Newspapers in achieving its business goals, representing the diverse voice of our communities, and celebrate & value the diversity and unique experiences that all of our employees bring to the table.
In a joint email, Publisher George Hearst and Human Resources Director Ruth Fantasia, said they would be striving for a committee that “spans all departments, all unions and all levels of personnel” and would provide more information when they were further along.