Buffalo Newspaper Guild

CWA Local 31026

Negotiations

    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.

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    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.

    Guild schedules contract vote for April 20

    Thursday, April 13, 2017 by The Guild

    The Guild has scheduled a ratification vote on the proposed contract with the News for Thursday, April 20. Members may vote between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. in the News fifth-floor cafeteria. Guild representatives will also be on hand from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the zone offices in Depew, Buffalo, Hamburg and Tonawanda.

    The tentative agreement, unanimously endorsed by the Guild’s bargaining team, includes an effective 2.5 percent raise for full- and part-time bargaining unit employees for the first time in seven years. It also includes exit packages for members of the Classified Department that doubles what the News originally offered. Under the deal, members will pay 9 percent of the Guild base 20/20 health insurance plan in 2018.

    More details on the agreement are in a flier distributed in print and via email last week to members and posted on Guild bulletin boards.

    Given the declining economic state of The News, Guild leadership strongly believes that this contract represents the best deal possible under difficult circumstances and urges members to vote for it. Please make an effort to cast your vote on Thursday, no matter your position, and thank you for all you do on behalf of the Guild.

    Company updates employees on State of the News

    Tuesday, January 31, 2017 by The Guild

    In a New Year’s message to readers, Buffalo News President and Publisher Warren T. Colville boasted about the newspaper’s strength and dedication to maintaining high editorial standards.

    “It is no secret that the newspaper industry has seen many challenges in recent years,” Colville wrote in the full-page ad that ran on Jan. 1. “I am proud to tell you The Buffalo News remains one of the strongest papers in the country.”

    The picture News executives painted during the company’s annual State of the News address on Jan. 19 was somewhat less rosy. Even so, the session made clear that the newspaper continues to reap significant profits that put it far ahead of other American newspapers and maintains a profit margin that is the envy of a battered industry. continue»

    Guild members rally outside News building

    Friday, January 6, 2017 by Mark Sommer

    rallyThe Buffalo NewsGuild rallied outside The News Dec. 13, demanding a fair contract as negotiations that started back in mid-May headed toward 2017.

    The rally was one of several mobilization events that have ramped up over frustration with management’s negotiating position on health care. The Guild has agreed to pay for a portion of premiums after decades of fully paid health insurance, but management insists workers who have gone seven years without a raise must dig into their pockets deeper still. continue»

    News issues major proposals as contract talks begin

    Wednesday, May 18, 2016 by The Guild

    May 16, 2016 — The Buffalo News last week issued only four bargaining proposals as contract talks started with the Guild. But they are very big, difficult proposals that target severance pay, health insurance, the trial period in the newsroom and the existence of the Classified Department. continue»

    Q&A: NewsGuild President Bernie Lunzer

    Thursday, May 12, 2016 by Mark Sommer

    As The Buffalo News prepares to begin bargaining next month, Guild member Mark Sommer sat down for a chat with The NewsGuild President Bernie Lunzer on April 23 at the TNG-CWA Multi-Council Meeting in Cleveland. continue»

    Working Together

    Wednesday, May 11, 2016 by Mark Sommer

    Recruiting new members and mobilizing for strong contracts were major themes at The NewsGuild Multi-Council Meeting held over the April 22-24 weekend in Cleveland.

    The gathering of 60 TNG representatives was hosted by the Great Lakes District Council. It occurred as union workers at newspapers and digital operations continue to be under assault by media owners who demand more work from fewer employees who often are having to endure pay cuts, see their benefits taken away and their job security threatened. continue»

    NewsGuild busy organizing digital journalists

    Sunday, October 18, 2015 by The Guild

    The NewsGuild wants to be “the voice for digital journalists.”

    In a column last month, NewsGuild-CWA President Bernie Lunzer wrote about why the NewsGuild is the right place for digital journalists:

    Many journalists went into digital media with high hopes but low expectations because digital profit was illusory. But as many startups have stabilized and even turned a profit, workers have decided that they want some stability, too. It is a wonderful development. Digital media workers are starting to see unions as the tool that can get them there. A spate of successful organizing drives since June—including new Guild units at the Guardian US and Al Jazeera America—are spurring more campaigns.

    The Frontier Reporter reached out to Marian Needham, executive vice president of the NewsGuild-CWA, by email and asked her to elaborate on these efforts. continue»