New Parking Policy: News and Guild address new rules, regulations for lot

The Guild and The News have resolved issues related to a new parking procedure policy the company is issuing for employees.

The changes in the policy stem from heightened concern over security in the parking lot as a result of increased activity in and around the News building with the popularity of Canalside and other developments nearby, according to the company.

Management in a recent meeting with The Guild summarized a handful of incidents in recent months in the parking lot, including thefts, that prompted the changes.

“People with criminal intent are in the lot who should not be there, and we have to be proactive,” said Joseph Giglia, vice president of human resources and general counsel at The News.

The News and The Guild engaged in bargaining the last time the parking policy was revised in 2010, and that’s what we did this time, as well.

The policies remain virtually identical except for the following changes:

  • Employees will be given color-coded parking tags to hang from their rear-view mirrors to identify them as News employees and the section of the lot where they park.
  • Employees with reserved spots will receive blue tags for their cars. Four spaces will be reserved for photographers.
  • The new policy forbids other employees from parking in the reserved spaces. The old policy allowed parking in the reserved spaces after 6 p.m.
  • The old and new policies, for the most part, will use the same color codes to determine who parks where. If you were in green in the past, for example, you will remain in green, and if you were in red, you will remain in red. The only change is for advertising sales employees. They will use black tags, rather than be identified by a white color code.
  • A section of the old policy related to parking privileges allocated prior to 1988 has been eliminated. It doesn’t appear to apply to anyone anymore. The News said that if the change leads to any unintended consequences, the company will discuss the matter with The Guild.
  • The company is asking employees to fill out a parking permit request form. At the Guild’s request, The News removed a disclaimer from the permit form initially distributed to Guild members and signed by some of them. Those previous forms have been destroyed, and employees will have to complete new parking permit forms.

Management said the overall intent is to make it clear whether cars in the parking lot do or do not belong there, especially when the lot is used so frequently for event paid parking.

The News cited a handful of recent incidents that raised security concerns. These included an individual or individuals taking items out of unlocked vehicles, theft of a car after an employee dropped a key fob in the parking lot, a reported use of bolt cutters to steal bicycles from the bicycle rack, and an employee who was accosted in the parking lot on a Thursday Canalside concert night by an individual who appeared to be inebriated.

The Guild encourages members to familiarize themselves with and follow the new policy because excessive disregard of the rules could lead to suspension of parking privileges.

In a related matter, The News over the summer placed an additional security officer in the parking lot on Thursdays to coincide with Canalside concerts. Management said it may maintain the extra security presence during the Buffalo Sabres hockey season.

Management also notified The Guild that the company is examining new security measures for the News building, particularly with the influx of visitors to the fifth floor for lunch.