Bargaining Bulletin #11:
After the Albany Newspaper Guild provided a comprehensive analysis of the Times Union’s management rights proposal, union negotiators then countered with a much briefer proposal. In response, the company literally threw out its overreaching and overly broad language in its initial proposal and countered with a much slimmer version.
It took company negotiators weeks to come up with their latest proposal which they presented during the most recent bargaining session last week. Obviously crafted by a crackerjack team of corporate lawyers, it contains language right out of what many would consider a standard management rights’ clause in a 1950s contract. The proposal, if accepted, would give the company ownership over anything any staff member created on their own time. If a staffer wrote a book, painted a picture, or pursued any other creative venture the company would have ownership.
The Guild countered by crossing out the language and reducing it to a simple phrase which stated that the company owned only the work product created by staffers while on the job.
Company negotiators owe the Guild a response on this counter proposal. Currently the timing of a response is unknown since no future bargaining dates have been scheduled. Representatives said they were bargaining with the pressmen this week.
The negotiating teams continued discussions on outsourcing language. The Guild is working diligently to achieve better seniority language than what the Company accomplished through its imposed terms and conditions. Union negotiators also are examining other ways to improve protections once the arbitration process is reinstated with a new contract agreement.
There were hang ups on how to let members of the Guild bargaining unit know when jobs are open so anyone can submit an application. Company representatives said that the jobs are posted through the Hearst Co. website but admitted not all of them are, including job openings in Albany. The Guild wants people to continue to have a local opportunity to seek a new job at the Times Union and apply if they are interested.