The Albany Newspaper Guild membership unanimously ratified an enhanced severance plan at a special meeting held April 8, 2021 for circulation customer service workers whose jobs at the Times Union are being outsourced.
There will be a minimum payment of 12 weeks of severance pay for unit members who have less than six years of service. Two long-term employees will receive an additional payment of six weeks of severance added to their contractual severance package.
The weekly pay amount will be based on their their pay rate plus take into account, bonuses, overtime and other additional payments made over the previous 52 weeks.
The unit members will also receive a $2,500 bonus if they continue to work through the end of May. In addition, the Guild negotiated a payment of a portion of the annual health insurance premiums.
The workers will receive all accumulated vacation time, etc. All members who have vested in the pension plan will be eligible for their pensions per the terms of the pension plan.
The agreement is scheduled to be signed Friday afternoon (April 9, 2021) by the Guild and the Company.
The Albany Guild membership unanimously elected Ken Crowe as local president to fill the remaining 20 months of former President Amanda Fries’ three-year term.
This is the sixth time Ken has been elected local president. It marks the second time that he has been elected to serve a remainder of term for a previous president.
Ken had been serving as acting Guild president since March 12, 2021 in his role as local vice president.
Ken promised to continue to pursue the goals the Executive Board has set to achieve a new contract, improve relations with management, increase training, expand communication with unit members and to support the stewards in their roles.
“During Mandy’s tenure, the Executive Board has worked with the stewards and members to strengthen our local in pursuit of a new contract. We have the support of TNG-CWA President Jon Schleuss for our plans,” Ken said.
Ken is a recipient of the Guild Service Award and led the local when TNG presented it with the Guild’s Human Rights Award.
Ken was a member of the TNG committee that recommended the successful merger with CWA. He is a reporter for the Times Union.