Buffalo Newspaper Guild

CWA Local 31026

Guild executive committee minutes: Tuesday, July 16, 2019

President Sandy Tan called the meeting to order at 5:04 p.m. Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at The News’ second-floor conference room, One News Plaza.

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

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

A settlement has been reached in the in ABC jurisdiction grievance. A grievance was filed; a signed agreement has a new full-time position being created in accounting – lead accountant. it is a Guild position. All Guild work that was out of the unit will be returned to the Guild no later than Sept. 1, per the agreement.

Administrative Officer Kim Leiser said that ABC chief steward Felice McMillion will be paying attention to make sure the work is properly returned by that date.

Leiser considers the accounting job out of the settlement a big win. She said it’s a well paid full-time position; the Guild has grown by a half-position and a new position has been added to the list of Guild positions.

Aaron outlined an issue with a Beauts post that was composed by management for digital, but then that same story, with minor edits, appeared in print. The Guild has inquired with management to see what happened with this situations.

President’s report

President Sandy Tan met with Warren Colville and discussed a number of issues.

New business.

Sandy reviewed the BN Better committee’s accomplishments, which were highlighted by a 50-minute, 40-slide presentation to Colville and the management team last week. It reviewed goals of the committee regarding marketing and was presented to Colville and management members Brian Connolly (and a staffer), Brian Donahue and Mike Connelly. “We had their undivided attention in the executive conference room for the whole time.”

Said Tan: “We spent a lot of time putting together different messages talking about the research that we’ve done. Ellen did a great job. We had examples of other papers and other organizations who do this way better than we do this. We showed on a calendar events that could be linked to promotions, we showed the need for community outreach like a speakers bureau. We showed the need to leverage individual and staff Twitter accounts to help promote offers and discounts.”

Tan said that out of the meeting, The News enacted a subscription initiative immediately — offering a discount that was tied into The News’ coverage of the Taste of Buffalo.

Tan said that Connolly and Dan Kirchberger told her that the promotion did about 50 percent better than similar-type promotions.

Ellen Przepasniak noted that Warren Colville repeated several of the things that we had in the presentation immediately afterwards.

“If they’re repeating them,” she said, “that means they’re listening.”

Tan said that Brian Connolly interrupted the presentation to say appreciated interest of the third floor in a marketing area that has been limited to the fourth floor.

Old business

Tan updated the committee on discussions with management regarding the issue of digital freelancers and said there were more discussions upcoming.

There is a local meeting Wednesday.

Tan said that the ball is in the court of management regarding the graphic artist agreement and that they are supposed to get back to us.

Tan adjourned the meeting at 6:05 p.m.

Attendance: President Sandy Tan, Vice President/Grievances Aaron Besecker, Interim Vice President/Mobilization Colin Dabkowski, Secretary Keith McShea, Administrative Officer Kim Leiser, district manager steward Joan Portman, nightside chief steward Mike Pesarchick, Sun papers steward Luke Hammill,

Excused: Treasurer and ABC chief steward Felice McMillion, inside circulation delegate Diana Gawron, editorial delegate Mike Harrington, editorial delegate David Robinson, editorial delegate Mark Sommer.

Absent: Inside circulation delegate Latrice Carr, past president Phil Fairbanks. district manager co-stewards Matt Fuery and Mike Tatko; editorial alternate delegate Jeff Miers, editorial alternate delegate Scott Scanlon, district manager alternate delegate Bob Snyder. .