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Guild and Times Union See Progress

Bargaining Bulletin #5:

The Albany Newspaper Guild and the Times Union reached verbal tentative agreements on nine contract sections Thursday as bargaining for a new contract continued.

The sections include Non-Discrimination, Disputes Adjustment, Strike and Lockout, Military Service, Outside Activity, Experience Credit, No Pay Cuts, Bulletin Boards, and Individual Increases.

The Guild negotiating team of President Ken Crowe, Vice President Ty Stewart, and Steward Wendy Liberatore said the agreements and the discussions on other topics showed that the Guild and Times Union teams are making progress.

The Company presented counter-proposals to those made by the Guild on short-term and long-disability insurance and vacation time,

Extensive talks were held about the Guild’s proposal to include our Diversity Committee Report as a side letter to the contract and the creation of the Senator George Hearst/Heywood Broun Fellowships to increase diversity in the Times Union workforce and encouraging internships with pay and educational credit.  In response to Company questions, the Guild said it would work jointly with management in seeking out candidates.  Company representatives pointed out that many of the diversity initiatives have been put into effect by management.

The Times Union provided an explanation of what is considered gross misconduct which could be used for firing a Guild unit member without receiving severance.  Some examples include misuse of confidential information, offering or accepting bribes, a severe breach of health & safety regulations, serious insubordination, discrimination or harassment, setup of a competing business, intentional property damage, causing loss, damage, or injury through negligence, and using company equipment to access pornographic or offensive material.

Bargaining will break for three weeks due to previously scheduled vacations on both sides.  Negotiations resume on Wednesday, July 13.

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