Sunday, November 27, 2005

Another Early Morning Missive

Greetings, Everyone,

I've been lax in my regular messages lately, an unfortunate byproduct of working incredibly screwy hours around the holiday. And, due to those screwy hours, I'm now up at 2:30 a.m., finally getting around to my union update-- my apologies for the spotty correspondence.

First off, we made a bit of a splash last week when a post regarding the existence of our blog got picked up by LA Observed. That's going to be double-edged, because while it's good to have more exposure for what we're doing, we're also going to have to pick up the pace on the blog to have more relevant content for folks to read. I'll be in touch soon with ideas on what we can contribute, but in the meantime, if you have suggestions, I'm all ears.

Secondly, I know I'd mentioned my planned meeting with CWA 9400 President Micheal Hartigan to discuss organizing, dues, strategy, etc. We'd intended to meet last week, but a scheduling conflict arose. So while I don't have any updates from him, this gives us additional time to formulate questions and stuff to bring to his attention-- if you've got anything you'd like me to discuss with him, please pass it along, as I hope to reschedule soon.

Third, if you're looking for an entertaining, if bizarre read, Ben Jauron has launched his online comic series, I wouldn't recommend it for the kids or at work consumption, but it looks cool and has a pretty unique way of telling the story. Check it out-- and he also needs volunteers for future episodes, if there's any aspiring models out there.

Also, in this holiday-crunched month, I let the dues collection lag a bit-- if you could make out your checks to CWA 9400, I'll come around this week and pick them up for you. For those of you out of office folks, I'll get you envelopes soon. Thanks for your help on that, as always, and for those of you who've already paid, thanks even more.

And speaking of holidays, there's always confusion when Christmas falls on a weekend, but let me remind you of how it'll work out. Since Christmas is on Sunday, the company holiday is Monday, Dec. 26. That creates a hardship for the people who normally work Sunday, but have Monday off, because you get no bonus for missing the time with your family. So there's two ways you can make it up: if you want to make more money, volunteer to work Monday, when you'll receive 2.5x your normal pay (holiday pay plus 8 hours of work). If you want more time at home, request an unpaid day from your manager any other day in the pay period (which they've been instructed to give you). With the 8 hours you're getting for the 26th, you'll still come out even.

I know that's never easy to explain, so if you've got questions, come to me or, better yet, Theresa Saplad, who knows every different way to slice it to get things most equitably resolved.

And finally, this being Thanksgiving weekend, let me close with a note of thanks to all of you. As both a member of the Daily News and the union steward, you guys make my job and my life much better. As colleagues, I can't think of a better crew-- you make coming to work each day a pleasure and take the strain out of an otherwise taxing job. And as fellow union members, you're inspiring to work with. You stand up and speak out when you see something wrong, you give up your time to make this place better without complaint and you always handle yourselves professionally and intelligently. This makes our efforts with the union and our desire for better journalism markedly easier and much more rewarding.

So to each one of you, thank you. I know I say it a lot, but I can never stress enough that you are really the best. It's a pleasure to work with you all and I wish you all the best as we wrap up another eventful and lively year.



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