Glickson drops challenge to Guild leadership election


New York Times Unit Chair Grant Glickson announced on Tuesday that he is dropping all challenges to last fall’s Guild election in which he lost his bid to become president, saying the ongoing dispute has compromised his position as a Guild activist and that he was committed to “mending any fences that need mending.”

Glickson, who led 19 other candidates on the “Members First” slate for Guild office, had filed 16 objections to the election in which Guild President Bill O’Meara, Secretary-Treasurer Peter Szekely and all but one of their 22 running-mates on their “Proven Guild Leaders” slate won, mostly with margins of fewer than three dozen votes.

Having exhausted his avenues of appeal within the local, Glickson told a group of Times Guild members that included several of his supporters that when he launched his challenge, he did not believe it would interfere with unity-building efforts in his unit.

“However, in recent weeks it has become clear to me that continuing a drawn-out yet winnable fight would come at too great of an expense to our members, as my ability to work with the local leadership and do my job as unit chair had become compromised,” he said in an email. Reuters Shop Steward Tony Barone, who had run with Glickson as a candidate for secretary-treasurer, sent a similar email to Reuters employees that both of them signed.

O’Meara said Glickson’s decision to drop his appeals would open the way to a more unified Guild that could better focus on the challenges of representing workers in today’s turbulent news business.

“While we obviously disagree that any challenges to our election have merit, we’re happy to put this behind us and hope to work closely with Grant and his supporters to make our union a stronger, more effective force for all members,” he said.

Glickson’s decision to drop his objections, however, has no legal bearing on the status of six other pending election challenges filed by Jeff Blyskal of the Consumer Reports unit, who was not a candidate in the race and claimed not to be supporting either slate.

Soon after mail-in ballots were counted on Nov. 13 and 14, Glickson and Blyskal filed their challenges, which made wide-ranging, and in some cases overlapping, claims, including many that were critical of the way the local conducted the election and the election rules themselves, which were adopted by the local’s Representative Assembly (RA) last June. The challenges also cited restrictions imposed on both campaigns by the Local Elections Committee, but did not allege any irregularities in the counting of the ballots themselves, during which observers from both sides were present.

The elections committee, which consisted of five members who were unaffiliated with either campaign, and an outside Guild counsel who served as advisor, issued a detailed report on Dec. 5 that rejected all of the challenges and certified the results of the local’s first contested election in 31 years.

Glickson and Blyskal later appealed the committee’s rejection of their claims to the RA on Jan. 28 and to a local membership meeting on Jan. 29. In each case, the appeals were not heard because of the lack of a quorum.

By dropping his challenges, Glickson forgoes his right to appeal the certification of the election to the Guild’s parent union, the Communications Workers of America, and to the U.S. Labor Department. Blyskal has already appealed to the CWA.

Glickson said he was “proud” of his campaign, which he said raised greater interest in the union and focused attention on issues such as the bylaws, communications, recruitment of activists and training.

“To those who did not support my presidential bid or my challenge, I’m sincerely committed to mending any fences that need mending,” he added.

Now that Glickson has dropped his challenge, O’Meara said that one of the overdue initiatives the Guild could proceed with was a long-planned review of the bylaws, which were last amended 16 years ago. He said he would welcome Glickson’s participation in such a review.

Dues max adjustment to kick in April 1
For most members, there will be no increase

Each year, the maximum weekly salary on which dues may be assessed increases. Despite these annual increases, which are spelled out in the Constitution of The Newspaper Guild-Communication Workers of America, the New York Guild has not always increased its maximum dues-assessable salary.

Effective April 1, however, the maximum salary will increase to $2249.99 per week from $2150. Currently, the dues rate for members earning more than $2150 a week is effectively less than the 1.3846 percent (plus $1 a month) paid by members who earn less than that amount. Raising the maximum salary means that the effective dues rate for all members earning up to $2249.99 will be equal. No dues will be assessed on weekly earnings above $2249.99, which is still below the current maximum in the TNG-CWA constitution. 

For the large majority of members, there will be no increase in dues. Those earning more than $2150 a week, however, will see an increase of up to $1.38 a week.

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