Buffalo Newspaper Guild

CWA Local 31026

Guild executive committee minutes: Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019

President Sandy Tan called the meeting to order at 5:04 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019 at The News’ second-floor conference room, One News Plaza.

Interim Vice President for Mobilization and Communication Colin Dabkowski issued his mobilization report.

A new Frontier Reporter has been published; topic for next issue is unknown.

With the start of the spring semester for Colin, he will be unable to do his duties for the next four months or so. The Guild is seeking a new Vice President for Mobilization and Communication.

Dabkowski mentioned that his stipend could be put towards social activities.

President Sandy Tan and Administrative Officer Kim Leiser discussed plans for the next sector conference and said that we would rather send new Guild officers to the also-upcoming new officers conference.

Following up on last meeting, The News agreed to give two of the more senior members of the Guild access to freight elevators. If anyone else needs access and demonstrates needs, mobility, etc., members are urged to let Sandy know and she will see about getting them access.

Sandy noted that Kim Leiser got the elevator deal done via excellent communication to management.

New business

The Newspaper Guild sector endorsements. Bernie Lunzer (President), Marian Needham (Executive Vice President) and Martha Waggoner (Vice Chair) are up for reelection.

The international guild was interested in obtaining our feedback. It was noted that Marian Needham is still a dues-paying member of our guild.

M/S/C Sommer/Robinson to endorseme Lunzer, Needham and Waggoner in this year’s TNG elections.

The guild’s retired/alumni chapter is official. It is retired members chapter No. 355.

Sandy Tan reports that Henry Davis has some interesting ideas about alumni chapters.

The possibility of the Guild paying the $25 retiree membership fee was discussed. The discussion was then tabled.

Leiser reported on the TNG Multi-district council meeting. It was in the second week of November in San Francisco with representatives from 30 different locals. Leiser met with Bernie Lunzer and Marian Needham.

There was a very strong sexual harassment/bullying presentation that Leiser hoped to share with the local, perhaps via posting on our web site. “It was one of the best presentations ever seen at one of these events,” said Leiser. “Eye-opening. A lot of things that you wouldn’t think are bullying or harassment but really are.”

The most recently scheduled Multi-News Union meeting didn’t happen.

Sandy Tan said it was a good idea for us to convene the Buffalo council of Newspaper Unions, especially with what’s going on with the mailers. “Let’s try to make that happen.”

Tan said either she or Leiser would reach out to the mailers and maintained that we should still pursue a meeting. “They are the second biggest union at the paper,” Tan said, “if two of us can’t get together, there’s no point in convening.”

Motion/Second/Carried Tan/Robinson to approve minutes, with minor edits and corrections to come, for October and November.

After a question from Secretary Keith McShea, President Sandy Tan noted for the record that all minutes have been approved for 2018.

Old business

Leiser recapped the holiday party.

$8,000 was budgeted; it totaled $8,500. $550 was raised.

It was $77 over budget.

We had 100 confirmations and 98 attendees.

Jack Harzynski was presented with the Guild’s first citizen award.

Harzynski has subsequently been honored by the New York State Senate.

A shoutout was proclaimed by Tan for Aaron Besecker and his sick skillz as party DJ.

Leiser relayed google survey results.

Of 13 responses, only one said we needed a food improvement. Three said it was too long.

“Mostly a positive reaction to festivities,” said Leiser.

McShea noted his concern that in sports, a digital freelancer continues to do Sabres stories on topics that have been covered by full-timers in previous years. The stories are updates on Sabres prospects and/or players on the Rochester Americans.

Tan adjourned the meeting at 5:39 p.m.

Attendance: President Sandy Tan, Interim Vice President/Mobilization Colin Dabkowski, Treasurer and ABC chief steward Felice McMillion, Secretary Keith McShea, Administrative Officer Kim Leiser; Sun papers steward Luke Hammill, editorial delegate Mark Sommer.

Excused: Vice President/Grievances Aaron Besecker, Inside circulation delegate Diana Gawron, editorial delegate David Robinson, district manager alternate delegate Bob Snyder.

Absent: District manager steward Joan Portman; editorial delegate Mike Harrington; past president Phil Fairbanks, editorial alternate delegate Scott Scanlon; nightside chief steward Mike Pesarchick; inside circulation delegate Latrice Carr, district manager co-stewards Matt Fuery and Mike Tatko; editorial alternate delegate Jeff Miers.