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Guild reaches voluntary buyout deal

The Albany Newspaper Guild and the Times Union agreed Monday to a voluntary buyout that will be open to all members of the bargaining unit.

The local Executive Board unanimously approved the tentative agreement and has recommended approval at a special membership meeting on Zoom called for 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22. Look for a separate email with the Zoom meeting information to be sent out Tuesday.

The buyout offer also is being reviewed by the international NewsGuild board.

The terms call for a minimum of 13 weeks pay and a maximum of 62 weeks pay based upon years of service. It also includes health insurance coverage for the same period as the buyout with the company paying the full insurance premium.  If a person chooses not to take the health insurance, they will receive 50 percent of the company’s share of the premium.

All accrued time will be paid and pension benefits remain intact.

The company said there are no goals for savings with this special voluntary buyout package, and there will be no layoffs. It will be offered across the Newspaper Division beginning Tuesday Oct. 20.

The deadline for signing up is Monday, Nov. 2.

The Guild negotiating team was led by President Mandy Fries.  Joining Mandy were Vice President Ken Crowe, Treasurer Jason McKenna and Secretary Massarah Mikati.  The company was represented by Publisher George Hearst and Human Resources Manager Ruth Fantasia.

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