Buffalo Newspaper Guild

CWA Local 31026

Guild executive committee minutes: Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018

President Sandy Tan called the meeting to order at 5:09 p.m Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018 at The News’ second-floor conference room, One News Plaza.

Secretary Keith McShea confirmed the unconfirmed: The minutes for September and October are not ready for approval.

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

“Nothing doin. We’re working on the next issue of the Frontier Reporter, which highlights new blood here with the Guild.”

Tan discussed her conversation with Bryan Donahue regarding how night employees no longer have access to the freight elevator.

The committee agreed that it thinks this is outrageous, particularly for older employees — some of whom have dedicated 50 years to The News. Tan and the committee pledged to continue to pester News management about this frustrating issue.

Vice President for Contract Enforcement Aaron Besecker delivered his committee report.

The committee met before the meeting on a couple of issues.

Kim Leiser addressed some longstanding questions in accounting regarding managers doing Guild work. Ever since two members left in February in accounting, Guild work has been done outside the unit. The Guild allowed this on an emergency basis, Leiser said.

They have hired one person, but they have not brought work back into unit, Leiser said. This has caused problems with training and assignments and the situation will be continued to be monitored by the Guild.

In a new item, Besecker reported that News manager Bruce Andriatch wrote an obituary, which is not permitted.

Secretary McShea had to leave the committee hanging at 5:37 p.m. in order to attend a graduate school meeting, so Besecker took over note-keeping duties as Tan delivered her report.

The committee discussed Tan’s lunch topics with the publisher, which including DM staffing issues and Sun revenue. There was some discussion about digital jurisdiction and photographers, as well as issues with the digital archive. Also, DCPs not being hired for digital products like BN Blitz.

New business

There was talk about the long-standing issues involving SEO/Google search.

Tan suggested we create a document that outlines the problem/chronology.

Kim Leiser reported on multi-district council meeting in San Francisco. Key points included:

- Membership up for first time in 20 years.
- 48 new units in last three years.

The committee discussed sending members to new officer training and other conferences.

Colin reported on multi-union news meeting. We will look for possibility of Buffalo Council of Newspaper Unions meeting.

Regarding sector conference attendance — the cost is about $800 per person plus per diem and /or lost time. The finance committee budgeted $1,500 per travel per event, Leiser said.

The cost would be $231 per person, per diem. Total cost $1,031 per person plus lost time. Sandy said she supports sending two people, which holds educational benefits, rather than just sending one.

Motion/Second/Carried Tan/Portman to send up to two people to sector conference in Orlando, any cost above and beyond budgeted to be covered by the defense fund.

Endorsements should be put on the January agenda.

Sandy Tan recommends we endorse Marian, Bernie and Martha Waggoner, but we can’t take that action at this meeting because we don’t have a quorum present.

The committee was told a holiday party flier is coming out.

Tan adjourned the meeting at 7:06 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; district manager steward Joan Portman; Sun papers steward Luke Hammill.

Excused: Inside circulation delegate Diana Gawron, editorial delegates Mark Sommer, Mike Harrington and David Robinson, district manager alternate delegate Bob Snyder.

Absent: 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.