Guild gains 8 jobs; Company proposes special buyout

Guild gains 8 jobs

Local President Mandy Fries led her last meeting with the Company late Tuesday afternoon to discuss new jobs in the Editorial and Advertising departments. Mandy was joined by Vice President Ken Crowe and Local Secretary Massarah Mikati for the meeting with Publisher George Hearst and Human Resources Director Ruth Fantasia.

The company will add five jobs in editorial and three jobs in advertising. The company had been looking at creating a separate digital product in eastern New York State. The Guild in consultation with the International had argued that this fell within our jurisdiction. The company has decided our hard work in developing the Times Union print and brands is where the positions belong.

The jobs are an additional Saratoga County reporter, an additional environmental reporter and a Columbia-Greene counties reporter, a data reporter and a data visualization developer in editorial. The five positions are all Class C. The four reporters will join the seniority list for that title. The data visualization developer will be placed in an appropriate seniority list after further clarification on the job title. The Guild pointed out that we did not want individuals being the single person in a job title.

In advertising, we see the addition of a sales development representative and two additional outside sales positions for digital sales.

George Hearst and Ruth Fantasia praised the work that Saratoga County Reporter Wendy Liberatore and Environmental Reporter Rick Karlin are doing. They said these new positions are to supplement their work.

Company proposes PIP buyout terms

The Company presented a preliminary discussion for offering people on a performance improvement plan to opt for a buyout instead of proceeding with the plan in an effort to keep their jobs.

The basic proposal would be up to 12 weeks of severance pay and health insurance for anyone with six years or less of employment with the company. Anyone with more than six years experience would receive severance and health insurance of two weeks per year worked. The company would pay the employee’s portion of the health insurance premium.

This will be subject to further discussions.

Hearst Co. continues to maintain its policy of no furloughs or layoffs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mandy’s Farewell

Mandy will wrap up her time at the Times Union on Friday and sadly will depart as president of the Albany Newspaper Guild. Mandy has led a revitalization of our Local during her time in office.

Mandy will be joining the Wilmington Delaware News-Journal as a watchdog reporter. We’re sure she will be spending time with President Joe Biden when he comes home from the White House. Also, the Wilmington paper is negotiating its first Guild contract. Mandy will feel right at home.

Mandy will lead her last executive board meeting Thursday evening. Members are always urged to attend.

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