Company announces employees to begin returning to office Aug. 17

Keep Aug. 17th in mind. That’s when Group A consisting of 30 people will return to work inside the Times Union building, according to a presentation by Publisher George Hearst, Operations VP Dan Couto and Human Resources Director Ruth Fantasia Monday.

The Guild has been met with the Company on a regular basis since March when nearly all of us began working at home. Most of the information you had advance notice of through our earlier postings.

The key items to keep in mind are that George Hearst said the Company will put the needs of the employees first. If you have a pre-existing health condition, family issues or other events that make it difficult or dangerous to return to the office instead of working from home, you should speak to the Guild and the Company. We are concerned about your safety. That’s what our local with support from the International staff has been working on since March.

Everyone should have received an email from Ruth Fantasia early Monday evening about downloading the Health APP. It takes effect Aug. 17. The Company recommends getting into the habit of completing it for each day you are assigned to work. If you should report a YES answer to any of the questions, make sure you contact a Guild officer or steward. We will provide updated contact information in the near future.

Also, if you do not have a smart phone you can complete a paper form. If you fall into this situation, please let the Guild know so we can make reporting in as easy as possible.

The Company has told the Guild that we will be notified when anyone in the local is scheduled to return. George Hearst said there would be a two-week notification before you are scheduled to go back in. He also indicated that the earliest Group B would go back in is in the weeks after Labor Day.

Here are the four return groups as presented by the Company:

Group A – Executives, managers and employees required to be on site to perform critical business/operations functions. Approximately 30 employees.

Group B – Employees voluntarily returning to work or as required by business/operations functions. Approximately 50 employees.

Group C – Employees less reluctant to return. Approximately 58 employees.

Group D – All other employees. Approximately 48 employees.

If you have any questions please contact the Guild office at or call Vice President Ken Crowe at 518-505-0610.

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