Buffalo Newspaper Guild

CWA Local 31026

Guild executive committee meeting minutes: Tuesday, June 19, 2019

President Sandy Tan called the meeting to order at 5:07 p.m. Tuesday, June 19, 2019 at The News’ second-floor conference room (but the one by the computer room, not the usual one), One News Plaza.

Secretary Keith McShea confirms under pointed questioning that there are no minutes.

Vice President for Contract Enforcement Aaron Besecker reported on contract issues.

An advertising section, a new section of the JobFinder, wasn’t labeled as an advertising. The News said they will put it on there.

A recent front page spadea did not say advertisement, we’ve asked that they do that, Besecker said, noting that the contract says we are not to confuse the reader.

There is a “Gusto” guide to dining which is a total advertorial product.

Notes have been sent to management via Margaret Kenny; there has been no response as of yet.

A grievance was filed in May via ABC. There are longstanding concerns about work being taken out of unit in general and being taken out of the unit in accounting. The Guild filed a formal grievance in May; Bryan Donohue has proposed a settlement that would involve hiring a person to be a Guild member but also like a manager, a low-level supervisor, likened to the blue shirts in the production department. The proposed settlement of the grievance was that the work will come back to Guild, but he wants to restructure the department, Besecker said. Next week there will possibly be a job description for new job.

President’s report

President Sandy Tan reported that she and Administrative Officer Kim Leiser went to lunch with Mike Connelly and Margaret Kenny yesterday after being invited to lunch.

Tan said that the BNbetterthanthis initiative by the Guild has received good reactions from Brian Connolly.

Tan said that two part-time workers are leaving the Sun, which is hiring a full-timer and part-timer.

Mobilization

There was nothing to report, other than that a Frontier Reporter was coming out soon.

Tan and Leiser recapped their efforts to hold a Council of Newspaper Unions at The News. Six representatives from their groups said they were coming, but only Harold of the printers showed up.

Colin Dabkowski led a discussion regarding the Guild’s digital jurisdiction and four situations in which freelancers have participated in core-coverage situations; the Guild has relayed our concerns to management.

Dabkowski said that basically The News is stealing work from guild members (via buyouts, not hiring replacements, transferring people to other positions, etc.) and transferring it to freelancers.

Tan, Besecker, Dabkowski and Leiser met with Connelly and Margaret Kenny Giancola to lay out our concerns. “We tried to make our case as reasonably as we could,” Dabkowski said.
The Guild is waiting for an answer from management on this issue.

Design Editor Vince Chiaramonte and his staff of Guild members are very interested in a former illustrator returning to do some work, perhaps six times a year for illustration work. After a lengthy discussion, Tan will be talking to Margaret Kenny Giancola to explore the next steps.

Tan adjourned the meeting at 6:50 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, inside circulation delegate Diana Gawron, nightside chief steward Mike Pesarchick, editorial alternate delegate Scott Scanlon, past president Phil Fairbanks.

Excused: Editorial delegate Mike Harrington, editorial delegate David Robinson, editorial delegate Mark Sommer, Sun papers steward Luke Hammill, district manager alternate delegate Bob Snyder.

Absent: Inside circulation delegate Latrice Carr,  district manager co-stewards Matt Fuery and Mike Tatko; editorial alternate delegate Jeff Miers.