Bargaining Bulletin #10:
The Albany Newspaper Guild presented its comprehensive economic proposal to the Times Union on Wednesday as talks continue for a new contract.
The Guild negotiating team pointed out that inflation is currently 42.84 percent, a significant increase since our last contractual raise in 2007. The Guild also provided management negotiators with current reports from the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics which indicated that the average weekly salary in Albany County is $1,503. Our key pay category (Class C in the contract), at a weekly pay rate of $998.48, is about 66 percent of the County’s average.
Our union proposed a five-year contract, bonuses and pay raises. We are seeking pension and 401K improvements. We also proposed that each unit member receive two cases of Hearst premium vintage wine.
We added a new contract section proposing an annual Cost of Living Adjustment if inflation exceeds 4 percent. This would be in addition to the negotiated pay increases.
We also proposed a formula of one exempt manager for every five Guild-represented employees.
We anticipated the company bargaining team would respond to our proposals on outsourcing and management rights made a week earlier. The company management team didn’t have any counter proposals for these major contract topics they had previously indicated were important to them. Their team said their response to our management rights proposal had not been completed.
Bargaining will resume Nov. 2 and 3.