Buffalo Newspaper Guild

CWA Local 31026

Guild executive committee minutes: Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019

President Sandy Tan called the meeting to order at 5:06 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019 at The News’ second-floor conference room, One News Plaza.

Motion/Second/Carried Tan/Leiser to approve minutes for January and updates for October and November. 

Mobilization

Tan reports that Interim Vice President for Mobilization and Communication Colin Dabkowski will be stepping back until at least the summer from VP duties because of his full-time work and school obligations. 

Administrative Officer Kim Leiser says Dabkowski called and said there is nothing to report.

Vice President for Contract Enforcement Aaron Besecker reports no open or active grievances. 

Former President Henry Davis, head of the Guild’s retiree chapter, is in attendance.



Old business

Regarding the retiree/alumni/veterans chapter – in order to have chapter, it has to meet certain requirements. The organization is chartered under the umbrella of CWA. The group has about 20 members. The organization also is a nonprofit and need to file a Form 990. A simpler form, a 990N, will be allowable because of low income level.

Davis says he is agreeable to be the officer on 990 form. Leiser would be responsible for filing of the 990N.

Leiser says the paperwork would take less than five minutes to complete.

“It’s incredibly simple,” Leiser said.

There is a penalty for not filing a 990N – if you don’t file for three consecutive years, IRS revokes tax-exempt status.

The alumni chapter is also working through how to set up a Facebook page. 

An advantage to the alumni chapter that was discussed is that reporters who have been prohibited to voice opinions are now able to do that.

Leiser explained how the Guild needed to be involved in the national TNG election via a local election committee because there is a contested national election for the president of The Newspaper Guild. 

At the sector conference in Orlando, two officers were elected with no opposition, but for the first time in 11 years there will be an election.
Every local is required to have a local election committee to handle the local election, Leiser said. Our Guild has never had a local election.

“There should be very little labor involved,” said Leiser, noting that the mailing out of ballots may be extent of the work.

Leiser will help the national Guild count ballots in Washington, D.C.

The local election committee is responsible for collecting ballots from the national and distributing them to members, and then returning any unused ballots to Washington, D.C.

M/S/C Robinson/Hammill to establish an election committee with Joan Portman and two others to be determined at Wednesday’s general membership meeting.

We are expecting a packet from the national, Leiser said. To vote, one just has to be a Guild member in good standing and be a member from September 2018 on and have paid dues since then. Ballots are expected to be out some time in March.
Ballots have to be in Washington, D.C. by Monday, May 13.

Leiser noted that a Guild can have an actual election rather than mailed ballots, but that would have to be staffed in a certain six-day period, which is not feasible or desirable for the Guild.

Leiser answered Besecker’s question by saying that the local is responsible for paying postage.
MSC Harrington/Besecker to approve the 2018 executive meeting dates: March 12, April 16, May 14, June 11, July 16, Aug. 13, Sept. 17, Oct. 15, Nov. 12, Dec. 10; and the general meeting dates: April 17, July 17, Oct. 16.
We can change these if we need to, Leiser and Tan said.

Leiser issued a 2018 attendance report for each executive committee member, which serves as a reminder that executive members’ attendance is required at each meeting and if committee members are unable to attend, they must contact the Guild office by phone, text or email to be excused.

This is important, Leiser noted, because the committee needs to know who’s coming or not coming for quorum concerns.

Tan reviewed the recent State of The News meeting.

Tan recalled how many members asked, separately, about some kind of promotional campaign, which was basically disregarded by management.

Tan said that a promotional campaign could be done — by the Guild. “We could develop a smart campaign. … We could do our own social campaign.”
Tan adjourned the meeting at 6:13 p.m.

Attendance: President Sandy Tan, Vice President/Grievances Aaron Besecker, Secretary Keith McShea, Administrative Officer Kim Leiser; District manager steward Joan Portman; Sun papers steward Luke Hammill, editorial delegate David Robinson, editorial delegate Mike Harrington;

Excused: Interim Vice President/Mobilization Colin Dabkowski, Treasurer and ABC chief steward Felice McMillion, Inside circulation delegate Diana Gawron, nightside chief steward Mike Pesarchick; past president Phil Fairbanks.
Absent: Editorial delegate Mark Sommer, editorial alternate delegate Scott Scanlon; inside circulation delegate Latrice Carr, district manager co-stewards Matt Fuery and Mike Tatko; editorial alternate delegate Jeff Miers; district manager alternate delegate Bob Snyder.