Meeting to vote on furlough today and Saturday

*** MEETING & VOTE FROM 4 to 5 PM TODAY and 11 AM to 1 PM SATURDAY at Indy News Guild headquarters (Musicians Hall across from the Star parking garage) at 325 N. Delaware St. ***

The Indianapolis News Guild met with today with Star management, which is now officially requesting the bargaining unit — that’s all of you — to agree to be part of the company-wide furlough. They want the Guild’s answer by 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 19.

If the Guild says “no” ¬†(see attached letter) the Star promises immediate layoffs of an unspecified number of union members. If the Guild says “yes” to their request, then starting Monday supervisors will begin the process of scheduling 5 unpaid off days — with health benefits – -but without pay for 40 hours through March 28 .

The company cannot guarantee that there won’t also be layoffs this quarter — although it is highly unlikely. The company also declined to show the Guild financial details that would prove that we are in as dire straits as they claim. And they will consider freelance opportunities on a case-by-case basis (you’ll have to directly make the request to a supervisor for consideration). Corporate also declined our alternative proposals that would take into account financial hardship. Officers are withholding an endorsement of the furlough. Instead, we are now providing 24-hour notice that a VOTE WILL BE TAKEN that will determine our response to the company.

To accomplish this, from 4 to 5 p.m. TODAY and from 11 a.m to 1 p.m. SATURDAY, the Guild will conduct a SECRET BALLOT vote of ALL DUES-PAYING members (no e-mail, sorry). You need to physically come to the Musicians Hall and simply circle “YES” or “NO” on a ballot to the furlough offer, then stuff it in a secured election box. We’ll have stewards (or members of the unit) count the ballots as of 1 p.m. Saturday to ensure impartiality and get the answer to the company by 10 a.m. Monday. Per our bylaws in accordance with the Communications Workers of America, you HAVE to be a dues-paying member to VOTE, but if you aren’t and would LIKE TO SIGN UP, we’ll have forms available on the spot.

Please feel free to contact any of us for additional questions or problems. We’ll work with you.

Tom Spalding, interim president 340-7836/c
Vic Ryckaert, vice president 796-9678
Sylvia Halladay, v.p. 465-0190
Geoff Ooley, 361-8608
Adam Yates, 444-8218

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