Buffalo Newspaper Guild

CWA Local 31026

Guild executive committee minutes: Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Buffalo Newspaper Guild executive committee minutes: Tuesday, July 17, 2018

President Sandy Tan called the meeting to order at 5:04 p.m Tuesday, July 17, 2018 at The News’ second-floor conference room, One News Plaza.

Motion/Second/Carried Besecker/Pesarchick to name Colin Dabkowski interim Vice President of mobilization.

Dabkowski issued his committee report.

Dabkowski is working on a special issue of Frontier Reporter that will pay tribute to the recently departed employees.

There are summer parties to be held by Lou Michel and Roger Durant which may serve as de facto Guild gatherings.

A summer social event is being contemplated, possibly a post-work gathering at a nearby park on Ohio Street.

M/S/C Fairbanks/Harrington approve minutes for May. “They all look fine,” complimented President Sandy Tan.

VP for Contract Administration Aaron Besecker issued his committee report.

There is a new approved grievance that has to be filed regarding the Buffalo Magazine issue of Discover Magazine; the advertorial product has a dozen or so News file photos included, some credited, some not.

There is an ongoing issue which will be discussed with management regarding freelancers intermittently getting staff byline credits in Gusto.

The grievance committee decided this issue did not rise to the level of a grievance. Mike Pesarchick offered that this issue exists because the “News Staff Reporter” byline automatically comes up in MediaWare Center no matter what kind of story it is.

Besecker said that there needs to be a conversation involving sponsored content. A Facebook post on The News’ Facebook page featured sponsored content from Roswell Park; however, there is no indication on the story that would let readers know that the story is sponsored content.

President Sandy Tan provided an update regarding buyouts.

Everyone who was targeted for a buyout ended up taking the buyout; Dennis Danheiser was the last to accept one.

Administrative Officer Kim Leiser provided buyout numbers:

17 employees left; nine were targeted buyouts, eight were voluntary, resulting in a $1.1 million buyout cost for News, paid out in severance.

Leiser said that including statutory costs (taxes, health care, etc.), the buyouts would provided The News a savings of $1.4 million in 2019.

These numbers do not include the non-buyout-related departures of Tim Graham, Dan Kirchberger and Lexi Heinle.

With those three added in, it makes for a $1.5 million savings for The News in 2019.

Sandy Tan reported on the recent [BN] Together meetings.

Mike Connelly said that there had to be more of a public relations effort from employees regarding the recent changes.

Tan said reporters and editors are being hired, that nine or 10 total positions would be filled: seven full-time reporting positions and two or three part-time positions.

Tan mentioned the recent Buffalo Rumblings story which documented the upheaval (buyouts, reassignments, etc.) in The News sports department.

M/S/C Robinson/Fairbanks to appoint Luke Hammill as an editorial member of the executive committee; he is a full-time reporter at the Sun papers who will provide valuable input to the executive committee as well as valuable communication to the three part-time Guild Sun employees.

M/S/C Hammill/Fairbanks to change the Guild’s schedule of remaining 2018 executive meetings; meetings will move from Wednesday to Tuesday in November and December: New dates are Tue. Aug. 14, Tue. Sept. 18, Tue. Nov. 13, Tue. Dec. 11.

The October executive meeting is already on a Tuesday due to the October general membership meeting being held on a Wednesday.

M/S/C Fairbanks/Besecker to approve spending up to $400 from either the good and welfare line or social activities line to purchase lunch for the newsroom of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md.

Tan discussed jurisdiction in features.

“We want to memorialize what remains of our jurisdiction,” Tan said, noting that Colin Dabkowski and Toni Ruberto have been a part of the discussion, which primarily involves jurisdiction over reporting.

The Guild will be looking at photography next. It was noted by Mark Sommer that Gusto has always used local handout photos.

“Jurisdiction: Hold on to it,” said Besecker.

Tan adjourned the meeting at 5:58 p.m.

Attendance: President Sandy Tan, Vice President/Grievances Aaron Besecker, interim Vice President/Mobilization Colin Dabkowski, Treasurer and ABC chief steward Felice McMillion, Secretary Keith McShea, Administrative Officer Kim Leiser, editorial delegates Mike Harrington, David Robinson, Phil Fairbanks and Mark Sommer; nightside chief steward Mike Pesarchick; district manager steward Joan Portman; editorial alternate delegate Scott Scanlon.

Excused: Inside circulation delegate Diana Gawron, Frontier Reporter editor Ellen Przepasniak.

Absent: District manager alternate delegate Bob Snyder, inside circulation delegate Latrice Carr, district manager co-stewards Matt Fuery and Mike Tatko, editorial alternate delegate Jeff Miers.