Buffalo Newspaper Guild

CWA Local 31026

Guild executive committee meetings: Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Vice President/Contract Enforcement Aaron Besecker called the meeting to order at 5:09 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020 via Zoom.

Motion/Second/Carried Fairbanks/Harrington to approve the minutes for the June executive committee meetings.

Grievance Report

Vice President/Contract Enforcement Aaron Besecker reviewed the Grievance Committee meeting held just before the executive committee meeting.

A letter from Besecker and Secretary Keith McShea was written to management about our concerns about work being done by a Niagara County freelancer as well as actions by the executive sports editor. 

President’s Report 

President Sandy Tan talked with management about equipment and said Guild members can expense work-related expenses that are incurred at home. Expense reports can be emailed to executive assistant Amanda Gentilcore.

Different equipment needs were discussed.

A Google survey will be conducted by the Guild so we can gauge members’ needs and communicate those needs to management.

Mobilization Report 

Vice President/Mobilization Rachel Lenzi said that a new edition of the Frontier Reporter is being worked on, but with no one going into the office, there seems to be no point in actually printing it. The next issue will include a story on Phil Fairbanks, the Typographical contract and the freelancer issue.

Lenzi addressed an issue of the timeliness of tweets that have been a part of the freelancer mobilization effort.

“We need to streamline the process,” she said, stressing that we need to get something, edit it, “and get it out so it doesn’t lose timeliness.”

There was a discussion about the Guild Twitter account and whether all tweets needed to be reviewed before being tweeted out. The committee landed on that any potential tweet should be run by another officer before it is published.

A mobilization social media committee was discussed and then formed: It will consist of Lenzi, Besecker, McShea, editorial delegate Mike Harrington and Sun Papers steward Lian Bunny.

In an effort to expedite the tweeting process, the committee will communicate via text, email and Google Doc before forwarding potential tweets to Tan and Administrative Officer Kim Leiser for approval.

Further discussion of the freelance mobilization effort was tabled until later in the meeting.

President’s Report 

Tan reported on Tom Wiley’s session at One News Plaza in which he discussed his strategy for The News.

She said she is still trying to meet with Wiley.

The committee discussed plans to honor Phil Fairbanks and Jane Kwiatowski and said that they would see if the veteran reporters would be interested in a Zoom celebration/happy hour, tentatively the week after Labor Day.

District Manager delegate Joan Portman volunteered to represent the Guild by driving a car in a Labor Day car parade.

There was extensive, wide-ranging discussion about the freelancer mobilization effort.

The committee said that Facebook was an avenue the Guild should use in addition to Twitter, and that members should be reminded to retweet Guild tweets and to use the hashtag #ThisIsGuildWork.

The new committee’s role in forming tweets was revisited, with an outline set in which three officers would need to sign off on a particular tweet. McShea said the ideal procedure would be for the committee to come up with a tweet it supported unanimously, and then send it to Sandy and/or Kim via text for approval.

Tan adjourned the meeting at 7:20 p.m.

Attendance: President Sandy Tan, Vice President/Grievances Aaron Besecker, Vice President/Mobilization Rachel Lenzi, Treasurer and Inside Circulation delegate Diana Gawron, Secretary Keith McShea, Administrative Officer Kim Leiser, District Manager steward Joan Portman, Sun Papers steward Lian Bunny, Editorial nightside chief steward Mike Pesarchick, Editorial delegate Mike Harrington, Past President Phil Fairbanks.

Excused: None.

Absent: ABC chief steward Felice McMillion, Typographical nightside steward Mark Hanover, Typographical dayside steward Karen Hipp, Typographical delegate Kathy Mooney, Editorial delegate David Robinson, Editorial delegate Scott Scanlon, Editorial delegate Mark Sommer,

District Manager alternate delegate Bob Snyder, Editorial alternate delegate Jeff Miers.