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Bargaining is Smooth then Rough

Bargaining Bulletin #8:

The Albany Newspaper Guild and the Times Union reviewed language in tentative agreements on Holidays and Employee Section and the Funeral Leave Section on Tuesday.

The Guild and Company bargaining teams continued to hold extensive discussions on expenses. While the Company wants expenses to be filed within 90 days, the Guild is seeking language that the expenses are paid as soon as possible after being filed.

The Guild had proposed free digital subscriptions being provided to employers. Since the Guild proposed this in June, the Hearst Corp. has extended free access to employees to all newspapers.

Discussion continued about cell phones, reimbursements, equipment and increasing insurance reimbursement for district managers.

Both sides also discussed providing short term disability insurance to Guild members and the status of banked unused sick time.

Bargaining turned away from an easy exchange of positions when the Company presented a written proposal to take the advertising sales force out of the bargaining unit.

Guild President Ken Crowe made it clear that this would not happen. Under federal labor law, the composition of our bargaining unit is not subject to mandatory bargaining. The Guild will not bargain away unit members.

The Advertising Department has been part of the Albany Newspaper Guild since at least the early 1940s. Over the years it has produced some of best presidents — Chris Cunningham and Melissa Nelson. The Guild Executive Board and activists have reached out to all Advertising Department unit members to tell them that we will stand by them and will not abandon them. They recognize the protections of being covered by a union.

The Company was told explicitly that the National Labor Relations Act covers our position, which was reviewed by our lawyer. The Guild gave the Company a letter to substantiate our verbal remarks.

We will stand firm and fight any attempt to attack the composition of our local.

Remember a motto that we have stood by for years — UNITED WE’RE STRONG.

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