Friday, a Guild team met with company representatives to discuss the outsourcing of the circulation customer service representative jobs.
The Times Union intends to send the work to a company with operations in different parts of the county but our work will go to Mexico.
The company projects saving $300,000.
The Guild representatives, Acting President Ken Crowe and Chief Steward Rob Gavin, listened to the company’s severance proposals.
In response, the Guild agreed to most of the numbers with an increase in weeks of severance for two long serving employees.
In addition, the Guild asked for a 2 percent pay raise for all pay classifications. Ken Crowe pointed out that it’s been nearly 14 years since our last raise in 2007 and that the cost of living has risen by about 20 percent.
The 2 percent raise would be about $100,000 perhaps slightly more of the $300,000 in savings.
Human Resources Director Ruth Fantasia said that sounds like contract negotiations. Circulation Director Todd Peterson said the $300,000 was being used to create advertising and editorial jobs. The other company rep was a new corporate attorney Vincent Floyd. Publisher George Hearst didn’t attend.
The Guild also asked for health insurance coverage for the CSRs. None of them currently receive health insurance. This would be an additional payment.
The company said it would respond April 1.