Buffalo Newspaper Guild

CWA Local 31026

Negotiations

    Guild launches new website, new mobilization campaign

    Thursday, April 29, 2021 by The Guild

    4.29.2021 — In this week’s round of bargaining, The Buffalo News/Lee Enterprises rejected the Guild’s digital jurisdiction proposal and reproposed language to dismantle our job security protections and outsource Guild work out of state and out of country.

    As a result, the Guild is moving forward with a campaign to raise community awareness. The campaign includes active social media messaging and a new website, www.ProtectLocalJournalism.com

    The Guild offered a package proposal Monday to outsource call center work for Inside Circulation to a U.S-based Lee call center in exchange for buyouts equivalent to a year’s pay and health care coverage. As part of the package proposal, the Guild required the company to withdraw its proposal to outsource Accounting, and the Guild put forth a proposal to insource page design work to our world-class, award-winning design team.

    These terms were rejected.

    The News/Lee also rejected every newsroom-based proposal designed to safeguard the integrity of local journalism. These include the digital jurisdiction proposal to ensure staff reporters and photographers can’t be replaced by freelancers on our own website. These also include proposals to label sponsored content and clearly distinguish locally produced journalism.

    SO WE ARE TAKING ACTION continue»

    Guild proposes two-year diversity fellowship; other proposals made by the Guild remain in limbo

    Friday, April 16, 2021 by The Guild

    4.16.21 – To assist with company efforts to diversify The Buffalo News, the Guild this week proposed a two-year diversity fellowship program for the newsroom aimed at developing journalists of color who have limited journalism experience.

    Meanwhile, the Guild continues to wait on responses from The News/Lee Enterprises on numerous other proposals, including those involving digital jurisdiction and the transparent labeling of online sponsored content and other news stories.

    The goal of the proposed diversity fellowship program would be to find and cultivate journalism talent and skills, creating a pipeline of well-qualified, potential hires to diversify the company’s newsroom ranks and improve community coverage. continue»

    Company rejects Guild proposals to label fake news content

    Friday, March 26, 2021 by The Guild

    3.26.21 — The Buffalo News/Lee Enterprises this week rejected two proposals from the Buffalo Newspaper Guild that would require the company to end its deceptive online practices. The proposals would require Lee to clearly label sponsored online content and to clearly identify stories that are written by local staff journalists.

    In both cases, the company said the Guild has no jurisdiction over the company’s online products and therefore has no input over ending practices that the Guild has argued are unethical, deceptive to readers, and harmful to The Buffalo News’ brand and credibility.

    “We were hopeful that News management would agree with us that ethics and integrity in journalism matters, but it doesn’t look that way,” said Guild president Sandy Tan. “Let’s just add this to the pile of reasons why digital jurisdiction is so important. If the company isn’t going to care about deceiving and insulting readers, then at least the Guild will.”  continue»

    Guild members vote to ratify tentative agreement

    Thursday, February 15, 2018 by The Guild

    The tentative agreement between The Buffalo News and the Guild was ratified today by a vote of 80-7.The three-year agreement, ending in July 2021, extends the current contract with no wage cuts or givebacks.

    The News also agreed to the Guild’s pilot project proposal to create a new job class, digital content producer, and restricts online freelancers from regular beat coverage, stories with high-anticipated news value, enterprise reporting or subject matter requiring ongoing coverage.

    Contract ratification vote scheduled for Feb. 15

    Saturday, February 10, 2018 by Daniel Kirchberger

    The Guild has scheduled a ratification vote on the proposed contract with the News for Thursday, February 15. We urge all members to take time out to cast your ballots. Members may vote between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. in Louie’s Café on the News fifth-floor. Guild representatives will also be on hand from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. at the zone offices in Depew, Buffalo, Hamburg and Tonawanda for district managers and any other Guild members who wish to cast their ballots there.

    The tentative agreement, if ratified, would extend the current contract for three years. Members would maintain a 9 percent contribution to the Guild’s base plan, current wages and other benefits. It would also launch a new pilot program that would encourage The News to hire a new classification of editorial Guild members, called “Digital Content Producers” who would produce online-only journalism content.

    View the agreement details.

    View the proposed changes.

    Guild reaches tentative agreement on 3-year contract with no concessions or cuts to wages, benefits

    Monday, February 5, 2018 by The Guild

    The Buffalo News and the Buffalo Newspaper Guild reached a tentative, three-year agreement on Friday that, if ratified, will result in no wage or benefit cuts and no givebacks. It would also launch a new pilot program that would encourage The News to hire a new classification of editorial Guild members, called “Digital Content Producers” who would produce online-only journalism content.

    In exchange, the Guild agreed to no raises or bonuses, and as part of the experimental project, offered to relax its wage scale, probationary period and work shift requirements for the new class of digital-only Guild members.

    The two days of formal negotiations, possibly a record in Guild history, was set against a backdrop of both alarming revenue shortfalls for the company and months of informal talks between the Guild and management about ways to keep this year’s bargaining agenda limited, swift and focused on a few key issues.

    “Both sides engaged in honest and pragmatic conversations leading up to bargaining,” said Guild President Sandy Tan. “That set the table for realistic expectations and proposals from the very start. I’m grateful for the conscientious efforts made by both sides to keep negotiations grounded and respectful. This was a welcome break from the past.”

    continue»

    Next general membership meeting and preparing for bargaining

    Wednesday, January 10, 2018 by The Guild

    SAVE THE DATE! GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
    When: Wednesday, January 17, Noon and 5 p.m.
    Where: First floor auditorium 
    What: Get your first look at the Guild bargaining proposals
     
    GUILD PREPARES FOR BARGAINING
    The Buffalo Newspaper Guild’s bargaining team has been preparing over the last month for an early start to negotiations with News management. The first day of bargaining is scheduled for Thursday, Jan, 18.
     
    Bargaining team members began meeting before the holidays to discuss results from the membership survey distributed in October, outstanding issues with the company and the role of the Guild at The News far into the future.

    continue»

    Loss of Classified Advertising department brought mixed emotions

    Tuesday, September 5, 2017 by The Guild

    Editor’s note: The loss of the Classified department at The Buffalo News was a huge blow to the organization as a whole, but particularly to Guild membership. Emotions were high throughout the bargaining process and after the contract was ratified. The members of the Classified department held a small, private gathering on the department’s last day.

    Thank you to Irene Bernhard, Margaret “Meg” Black, Rodney Chamberlain, Beverly Gniewiecki, Katherine Gumulak, Mary “Marcy” Lombardo, Renee Mikler, Sharon Steck, Patricia Toepfer, Jolene Rucinski, Alexa Finn and Collette Allen for their service. Jackie Kuma is now working in Accounting.

    Bev, Gniewecki, a longtime employee of the department, was asked to write a column to describe how she felt about the loss of the Classified Advertising department at The Buffalo News.

    continue»

    Two-year Guild contract secured after 10 months of negotiations

    Tuesday, May 30, 2017 by The Guild

    On Thursday, April 20, Guild members voted overwhelmingly to ratify a two-year contract with The Buffalo News, concluding one of the longer and more unorthodox periods of bargaining in recent Guild history.

    During 10 months of negotiations, the bargaining team took a methodical and systematic approach against a series of harsh proposals from The News. Most notably, they poured hundreds of hours into a series of attempts to save the Classified Advertising department that ultimately came up short.

    However, in an industry and company experiencing worrying declines in print advertising revenue, the team secured the continuation of affordable health insurance for members as well as our first raise in more than seven years. The first phase of that raise began appearing in members’ paychecks in late April, and the second will take effect Aug. 1.  continue»

    Guild members approve new contract

    Thursday, April 20, 2017 by The Guild

    Guild member Melinda Miller casts her ballot as Jay Rey and Matt Gryra staff the ballot box.

    Guild member Melinda Miller casts her ballot as Jay Rey and Matt Gryta staff the ballot box.

    Members of the Buffalo Newspaper Guild approved a new two-year contract on Thursday by a vote of 104-16.

    The bargaining team, which unanimously endorsed the agreement, was pleased by the excellent turnout. Henry Davis, member of the bargaining team and former Guild president, thanked everyone for the support throughout the process.

    “It was a long and difficult negotiation, and I’m gratified that so many of our members ultimately showed their support for the tentative agreement,” said Guild President Sandra Tan.

    The two-year contract includes an effective 2.5 percent raise for full- and part-time bargaining unit employees for the first time in seven years. Under the deal, members will pay 9 percent of the Guild base 20/20 health insurance plan in 2018.

    “I want to echo my thanks to all the members of the bargaining team, all of the volunteers who staffed the ballot box and all the Guild members who did their part to bring negotiations to a satisfactory end,” Tan said.