Buffalo Newspaper Guild

CWA Local 31026

Guild general meeting minutes: Tuesday, September 29, 2020

President Sandy Tan called the afternoon meeting to order at noon Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020 via Zoom.

Vice President for Contract Enforcement Aaron Besecker said the grievance committee approved two grievances, one regarding sponsored content and one regarding management doing Guild work in ABC.

Tan discussed the remote work survey the Guild conducted with its members.

Executive officers discussed the #ThisIsGuildWork campaign.

Tan discussed the buyouts that management is offering to the print desk and sports clerks.

Officers fielded questions about how bylines on the new web site do not specify that reporters are (or are not) Buffalo News reporters; a desire for more local control of the web site; the Guild’s position regarding the buyouts and the economic instability clause; what News editor Mike Connolly’s budget entails; possible hiring of “content producers” that was mentioned in management’s departmental meetings which announced the buyouts; and more.

The meeting was adjourned by Tan at 1:03 p.m. 29 Guild members attended.

* * *

A similar general meeting was held in the evening. It was called to order by Tan at 5:33 p.m.

Besecker and Leiser discussed the grievances.

Vice President for Mobilization and Communication Rachel Lenzi discussed the #ThisIsGuildWork campaign.

It was noted that the executive sports editor has a longstanding history of writing up news that appears in print. “We’ve made it clear that we’re not going to stand for that,” Tan said.

Officers fielded questions on: control of the pension; the question of hiring “content producers;” what tasks currently performed by sports clerks would have to still be accounted for if they all took the buyouts and more.

The meeting adjourned at 7:32 p.m. 25 Guild members attended.