Globe union head's financial dealings investigated
The executive committee of the Boston Globe's largest union has canceled the credit card and suspended the check-signing authority of its president as it conducts an audit and prepares internal charges against him.
The union's president, Daniel Totten, engaged in "conduct which appears to be violative of the constitution regarding financial matters involving local funds," the Boston Newspaper Guild's executive committee said in a letter emailed to members today.
In a note emailed to members of the union's governing board, Totten said, "I look forward to responding to this matter at the appropriate time in the appropriate forum. All BNG union funds remain and always have been intact."
Union officers would not comment.
The Guild represents more than 600 editorial, advertising and business office workers at the Globe. Totten, elected in 2005 and reelected two years later, has recently come under criticism from members and his handling of negotiations over major concessions demanded by the Globe's owner, The New York Times Co., and sporadic communications with rank and file. A group of members recently launched a recall petition to remove Totten and other union officials from office.
In the letter, the executive committee said an audit is already underway. The committee said it was also drafting specific charges, according to the constitution of the Communication Workers of America, Newspaper Guild's parent union. The charges will be provided to members once they are formally filed with the union and Totten will have the opportunity to answer the charges before or during a union trial, the executive committee said.
The union president's job was traditionally a part-time position, but in late 2005 the union's governing board made it full time, making Totten responsible for daily operations, finances, grievances, contract negotiations, and other duties. Totten earns about $98,000 a year, according to the Guild's most recent filing with the US Labor Department.