President Pat Gormley called the meeting to order at 5:33 p.m, March 10, 2010 at The News auditorium, One News Plaza.
Gormley reviews management’s buyout package that will seek the retirement of 23 employees by offering improved pension benefits. He explained that management allowed the Guild to confer with them concerning the buyout packages; it was not a bargaining session.
Jim Heaney reviews the buyout package in greater detail, noting that it is a significant upgrade on past buyout offers. He noted that there was no health insurance option but the U.S. Congress passed a Cobra extension that would provide coverage through the end of the 2010 calendar year.
Heaney noted that the Guild’s cost-cutting measures made in early 2009 saved The News significant money. “What we did last year saved jobs. We gave them permanent savings.”
Heaney said the Guild had arranged for Richard Schroeder’s investment firm to be available as a counseling service regarding members’ questions regarding pensions, health insurance, unemployment, etc. Heaney urged members to take advantage of his services.
Gormley urged members to “do their homework” regarding the pension and buyout numbers.
In response to members’questions:
* Will people be able to collect unemployment? The company did not challenge unemployment claims after last year’s buyouts; The News considers all of these moves involuntary.
* Does the current buyout offer alter the pension fund? No. The pension will be healthy. “Warren Buffet managed the pension plan exceedingly well,” said Heaney.
M/S/C Heaney/Gormley to adjourn at 6:15 p.m.
In attendance: Approximately 50 members in addition to executive committee members Pat Gormley, Tammy Turnbull, Jim Heaney, Keith McShea, Henry Davis, Phil Fairbanks, Henry Davis, Brian Meyer, Tom Buckham, Dick Fay, Bob Snyder, Felice McMillion, David Robinson, Aaron Besecker, Sue Kelley, Beverly Gniewecki