Category Archives: Events/Meetings

Bobby King elected Indy News Guild president

Bobby King was unanimously elected today by the Indy News Guild officers to fill remaining time left on Tom Spalding’s term as president. Congratulations and thanks!

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Indy News Guild 34070 to elect new president

The Indy News Guild 34070 is proud to announce that a Guild member has stepped up to the challenge of leading the Indianapolis News Guild.

Newsroom reporter Robert “Bobby” King is the sole candidate to express interest in the position of president, which was advertised via e-mail and in person amongst the membership. Per Guild bylaws, enough officers, stewards and duespayers to serve as impartial eyewitnesses will congregate at 3 p.m. Feb. 16, 2011 at our offices at the Musician’s Hall, 325 N. Delaware St., Indianapolis.

King will be elected via nomination, a “second” and vote from the five current officers. At that moment, Tom Spalding will turn over the reins to his term (which runs through June 2013) to King. We’ll later issue a news release.

Please mark your calendars if you’d like to come to this event, and spread the word. This should take no more than 30 minutes.

Congratulations in advance to Bobby.

For the Guild,
The officers and stewards of Indy News Guild 34070

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Indy News Guild seeking a new president; meeting schedule for Feb. 16 at guild hall

Indy News Guild 34070 needs a new leader to fill departing president Tom Spalding’s term that runs through June 2013. Tom notified the unit that his last day with Gannett/Indianapolis Star will be Feb. 18, 2011.  According to the Guild by-laws, any member in good standing can fill the position.

This is an extremely important position but it’s not an overly complicated one. The ideal applicant is a self-motivated leader with passion to defend our contract and advocate for our 165-employee unit. No experience is necessary. We’ll train you, and the position comes with the built-in support of four seasoned officers on the team — two vice presidents, a secretary and a treasurer. There are no preferred candidates – it’s an open invitation. Keep in mind, it’s a volunteer and part-time role.

The only major heavy lifting that is required on your part is to let Spalding or vice president Adam Yates know of your interest, hopefully as soon as possible. The replacement will be named (and sworn in) during a 3 p.m. meeting scheduled for Feb. 16, 2011 at the Musicians Hall, 325 N. Delaware St. We also want to build up the number of stewards, who are also trained and act on the Guild’s behalf, so please let Spalding or Yates know of that interest.

Please mark your calendars, and spread the word.

For the Guild,
The officers and stewards of Indy News Guild 34070

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Reaction to outsourcing of Indianapolis Star design desk work

Gannett’s capacity for inflicting pain can still surprise and outrage.

Less than a week removed from the one-year anniversary of the layoffs of 21 of our coworkers (editors and Guild members) came a bombshell from corporate regarding the “moving” of page design to five hubs, a cost-cutting measure that will eventually lead to layoffs at the Indy Star. Design work here, we’re told, will be coordinated by a do-it-all [and presumably bottom-of-the-pay-scale] Gannett center based in Louisville, Ky. Star newsroom leaders Dennis Ryerson, Jenny Green and Scott Goldman briefed about a dozen page designers/graphic artists Tuesday, July 13. Guild President Tom Spalding and Guild secretary Emily Kuzniar (who is also a designer, and will be impacted by the changes) sat in on the meeting. Ryerson said his goal was to keep as much of a design “presence” at 307 N. Penn, as much as he could, and that he thought that our newspaper won’t be impacted until late in the process, but that some jobs would probably be lost. He senses that we’re a year or possibly two years away — but not off the hook — from another big blow to our newsroom.

The designers were encouraged to continue doing the kind of high-quality,one-of-a-kind award-winning work they’ve been doing despite the frustratingly pitiful amount of detail about Gannett’s plans here. We hope to show Gannett that the cookie-cutter approach to cost savings won’t work here, is short-sighted, and is illogical. And hopefully, the move toward consolidated centers at other papers flops miserably and they give up on the idea, or we are exempted from it, being too big of a metro for it to work.

From our perspective, the Indy News Guild contract DOES NOT ALLOW outsourcing and the company CANNOT lay off staff as a result of using non-union personnel to get design done. Gannett/Indy Star will have to negotiate that right after the current two-year contract expires. At the very earliest, that’s SEPT. 1,  2011, presuming that the next contract negotiations go smoothly.

We want to note that Gannett tried to get the right to outsource certain types of Star newsroom/building services jobs during negotiations in 2009 and we rejected and resisted that, and they relented. We ended up with the unpalatable wage freeze and 10% pay cut but we at least kept the contract in place that gives us power to fight.

Guild leaders have reached out to Jay Schmitz, our Indiana-based adviser, Bernie Lunzer, president of The Newspaper Guild, and D.C. attorney Kathy Mulvey, who helps locals like Indy determine when our contract has been violated and helps us process any grievances. Officially the Indy News Guild HAS NOT BEEN NOTIFIED by the company about the company’s outsourcing plans, but your Guild is being proactive. We hope to get guidance and hold a meeting soon for our members at the Musicians Hall to let them know what the Guild is going to do about this and to ask questions.

We will defend our turf.

In solidarity, the officers and stewards of Indy News Guild 34070

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Indy News Guild 34070 announces officer team for 2010-13

Congratulations to the new slate of officers of the Indianapolis Newspaper Guild, who were elected today. The team of five ran unopposed. The volunteer, unpaid three-year terms begin July 1. Our responsibility is to represent the newsroom and building services units of The Indianapolis Star. Our primary goals are: Day-to-day advocacy of our 175 members; protect jobs; protect the contract; and, in 2011, restore wages lost last year when (under duress from Gannett) the union voted to accept a two-year contract that included a 10% pay cut and pay freeze.

The officeholders are:

  • Tom Spalding, president
  • Adam Yates, 1st vice president
  • Tania Lopez, 2nd vice president
  • Geoff Ooley, treasurer
  • Emily Kuzniar, secretary

At this time, the officers want to thank outgoing vice presidents Vic Ryckaert and DuJuan Carpenter for their terms of service, 2007-10. We’ll have more details in our next print Inkling due out in coming weeks.

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Make your voice heard / be a union officeholder!

Wednesday, June 30 is “election day” for the Indy News Guild 34070. Officeholders run every 3 years for five positions per our bylaws – president, two vice presidents, secretary and treasurer.

This is an all-volunteer gig – and a busy one.  Those who are elected to become your voice at work [terms run July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2013] face another contract negotiation with Gannett, ongoing grievances – such as our complaint about the USA Today baseball page – and unseen day-to-day labor issues as they crop up. You don’t need any experience to run. It’s a learn-as-you-go job, and CWA-TNG conducts periodic training. There are even paid-for travel opportunities for union conferences.

Maybe you are upset with the style or methods of the current union leadership, how the 10%-pay-cut/vote went down last fall, etc. If so, this is a chance for you to get involved and take our 175-member organization in a new direction. All that’s required is to be a duespayer, or you can become one instantly.  E-mail your name and desired position to metro reporter Dan McFeely (former Guild president) who has been appointed to serve as supervisor of our election committee.  He is at crhpdan@gmail.com. Please respond to Dan by June 10. We’ll let you know the candidates by mid-June and whether voting will be necessary.

Thanks for reading — and for your continued support.

The officers and stewards of Indy News Guild

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New grievance filed, Kronos, callback language, differential, election, vacation requests

New grievance filed
We officially notified the Star on April 19 that the Indianapolis Newspaper Guild, TNG-CWA 34070, is filing a grievance over the outsourcing of work performed by our members in the news room in violation of the contract. On Monday, April 5, The Star began using a page of baseball content that is produced by USA Today. This is work that previously has been done by page designers, copy editors and paraprofessionals represented by The Guild. This is a violation of the contract as stated on Page 1, “Jurisdiction of the Guild, Local No. 34070, shall include all work presently performed by the unit covered by this contract. Performance of this work … shall be assigned to employees of the Employer covered by this contract, provided that employees exempt from the bargaining unit pursuant to Article I below may perform bargaining unit work.”

The Guild MUST step in and defend our jobs — otherwise “free” and preproduced copy makes its way into the paper, not unlike the “News From You” stuff that runs in our zones sections. We hope everyone will read a Gannett blog piece on the arrangement between Gannett’s six N.J. newspapers and an employee of the New Jersey Devils who is providing coverage of the team for the newspapers. That may be a coup for the pro hockey team, says The New York Times, but it “puts the papers in the odd position of publishing news coverage supplied by the entity being covered.”

Kronos is coming
The Guild told the company today that it bregrudgingly accepts the implementation of the Kronos “fingerprint representation” scanner, which will be put into use in the coming months (likely June) to keep track of employees’ work hours. This will replace the time cards employees currently fill out and submit every two weeks. The company says this system cuts the amount of people and time required to keep track of employees’ work time and issue paychecks. The company’s human resources department and Star editor Dennis Ryerson have said it will take about 45 days for employees to get used to the system and then it functions without problems. After several meetings with the company, the Guild asked that all reporters, and all newsroom employees, who don’t have a set schedule in the Downtown office, be exempted from being required to use the Kronos system. (Those who don’t get OT are already exempted.) That request was rejected. About 100 IC folk will have to begin to “register” themselves in coming days to get inputted into the system. Zones and photogs are some that won’t have to fingerscan but will still have to record their hours in the new system. The Guild has asked editor Dennis Ryerson to have managers hold department meetings to address individual concerns and we’ve asked HR to ensure that e-records that contain personal details be deleted promptly to protect privacy. Those are matters under advisement. And, for better or for worse, all of us in the unit are going to be paid for all the time we put in the job.

Callback language, differential
Although the company has challenged a grievance filed by the Guild and related to the July 2009 layoffs, there is a provision in the contract related to layoffs that requires the company to give those who were laid off first preference for two years for any new jobs. The contract is not specific on the issue of a guaranteed rehire, and the Guild and the company have agreed on language for a call-back procedure. The Guild and the company also agreed to language that will set up a flat $20 per shift differential to be paid to those Guild-represented employees who fill in regularly in managers’ timeslots starting May 1.

Another election
Officers (five of them) are selected by the News Guild every three years, per bylaws, for three-year, unpaid terms. Your choice to become involved is certainly encouraged, and there are many rewards that come with being an officer — leadership, a chance to assist your coworkers, and the forum to make the workplace better. All five spots are “up” July 1, and we could really use your help — this is your union. Representation is especially welcome from photographers and building services, in particular. Anyone interested in finding out more about becoming a Guild officer should contact any of the Guild officers by June 9 — that’s 21 days prior to the June 30 election, as per our bylaws.

Vacation requests
According to the contract (Article VII, Section 2), vacation requests filed by April 1 should be approved or rejected by April 15. After that, supervisors have two weeks after a vacation or PL day request has been made to inform employees if their request has been approved. If you made your request before April 1 and have not been told whether your request has been approved, or if you make a request and are not told within two weeks, contract a Guild officer or steward.

As always, tune into indynewsguild.com for the latest.

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