Buffalo Newspaper Guild

CWA Local 31026

Guild executive committee minutes: Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019

President Sandy Tan called the meeting to order at 5:05 p.m. on  in the second-floor conference room, One News Plaza.

Tan began with the president’s report, first thanking and saying goodbye to Vice President Colin Dabkowski, who will be leaving the News on Oct. 4. Tan thanked Dabkowski for serving six years as vice president, saying he went “above and beyond” in his work on behalf of the Guild.

Tan called Dabkowski “an integral part of the Guild’s leadership team.”

“There are a lot of decisions were made that could have gone another way if Colin had not shared his wisdom and insights and always put our members first,” Tan said.

She said she was personally sorry and heartbroken that Colin was leaving.

Dabkowski said the reasons for his departure are many. “I really have loved this work and I’m very sad to be moving on,” he said.

Dabkowski told the committee he felt it was an honor to be involved in the Guild and thanked the committee.

Motion/Second/Carried Tan/Dabkowski to pay $15.90 out of the president’s account for the CWA Pediatric AIDS Foundation campaign.

Tan said she is reconvening a bylaws committee to deal with possible minor issues surrounding a potential union merger (to be discussed further later in the meeting) as well as guild leadership positions. Harrington agrees to join committee. Tan suggests one more non-executive-committee member.

December marks the end of terms for Guild officers and stewards. Tan said she is willing to serve another three-year term if no one else wants the job as president.

Besecker issued the Grievance Committee report. The committee met just prior to the EC meeting. Current issues include the work of digital freelancers and possible writing other staffers than reporters.

Dabkowski issued the Mobilization Committee report, noting that an issue of the Frontier Reporter is forthcoming.

The committee discussed a proposed merger with CWA Local 14148.

Motion/Second/Carried Besecker/Robinson to move forward with work on a merger agreement. Their membership needs to approve it before it would come back to the EC for final approval.

The News Guild’s presidential election is going to be re-run, Leiser reported. There will be in-plant balloting for the local here with the option of doing mail ballots for district managers who don’t work in the main office.

Leiser will convene the election committee, which also includes Samantha Christmann and Mike McAndrew.

Tan adjourned the meeting at 6:42 p.m.

Attendance: President Sandy Tan, Vice President/Grievances Aaron Besecker, Vice President/Mobilization Colin Dabkowski, Treasurer/ABC steward Felice McMillion, Administrative Officer Kim Leiser, Sun steward Lian Bunny, past president Phil Fairbanks, Circulation steward Diana Gawron, editorial delegate Mike Harrington, nightside editorial steward Mike Pesarchick, district manager steward Joan Portman, editorial delegate Dave Robinson.

Excused: Secretary Keith McShea.

Absent: District manager co-stewards Matt Fuery and Mike Tatko, editorial delegate Mark Sommer, editorial alternate delegate Scott Scanlon; editorial alternate delegate Jeff Miers; district manager alternate delegate Bob Snyder.