Buffalo Newspaper Guild

CWA Local 31026

News

    Buyouts result in painful newsroom losses

    Friday, June 8, 2018 by The Guild

    The Editorial Department of The Buffalo News is expected to lose at least 16 Guild members as a result of targeted and voluntary buyouts that the company made available last month. The loss of so many veteran newsroom staffers at once is deeply troubling to the Guild.

    Prior to these departures, the Guild represented 100 members on the newsroom floor, encompassing everyone responsible for reporting, fact-checking, designing and producing the paper, with the exception of upper management.

    The buyouts, as they stand, represent a loss of 16 percent of the Guild-represented newsroom staff, and nearly a fifth of staff reporters and columnists.

    “There’s no sugarcoating what a blow this is to journalism in Western New York,” said Guild President Sandy Tan. “We’re losing respected colleagues whose work has been invaluable to this newsroom and to this community.”

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    Targeted buyouts in Editorial follow first-quarter losses from The News

    Tuesday, June 5, 2018 by The Guild

    The past few weeks have yielded a bumper crop of bad news for The News, and consequently, for Guild members. The News experienced its worst first quarter in decades and has embarked on a series of cost-cutting measures, including buyouts on the newsroom floor.

    In May, management offered cash buyouts to nine Guild members in the Editorial Department.

    The employees were told their jobs were either being eliminated or their hours slashed. The Guild members whom management approached included copy editors, designers, part-time reporters and clerical staff. More newsroom buyouts are expected.

    In some ways, these painful events highlight the importance of the Guild at this paper. Since the buyouts were offered, the Guild has moved into high gear, disseminating information, negotiating better buyout packages and safeguarding Guild member rights.

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    Vince “Jim” Ippolito

    Monday, April 16, 2018 by Daniel Kirchberger

    Vincent “Jim” Ippolito Sr., a former Guild member of Local 26 who helped organize the district managers at the Courier Express in the early 1960s, passed away Saturday, April 14.

    Friends may call at the Hole-Parker Funeral Chapel, 160 Central Ave. in Silver Creek on Wednesday from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Thursday at 11 a.m. in the same location.

    More infromation: IPPOLITO, Vincent E., Sr. “Jim”

    Volunteers needed for Guild’s annual community project with Riverkeeper

    Thursday, April 5, 2018 by The Guild

    What: Buffalo Newspaper Guild’s annual cleanup event.
    When: 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, April 21. Please arrive shortly before 9:45 a.m.
    Where: Ohio Street Boat Launch, 421 Ohio St., near Father Conway Park on South Street.
    Register: BNWaterKeeper.org/cleanup

    A litter cleanup of the small park at the Ohio Street Boat Launch on Saturday, April 21 will mark the seventh year of a Guild initiative to aid the Spring Shoreline Cleanup coordinated by Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper.

    The annual effort is conducted in memory of our late friend and reporter John “Jay” Bonfatti. Jay, who died in 2008, loved the outdoors and believed strongly in caring for the environment.

    Guild members, with volunteers from other groups, have helped clear tons of trash from this location, which has improved significantly in recent years with new developments.
    Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting our major waterways. The cleanup involves more than 1,000 volunteers at about 40 sites.

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    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.”

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    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.

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    Members protest The News’ overreliance on freelance writers

    Monday, December 18, 2017 by The Guild

    guild-holiday-01Buffalo Newspaper Guild members who work at The Buffalo News rolled out a special red-and-green logo on Twitter last week, in keeping with the holiday season, to protest the paper’s dramatically expanded use of freelance writers to cover core news beats.

    The Twitter protest, organized by reporters and editors at The News, is intended to cast a spotlight on the importance of quality journalism in our community and who is best equipped to deliver that vital public service.

    Guild members at the paper used their popular Twitter feeds to express opposition to The News’ overreliance on freelance writers, particularly in sports coverage.

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    Guild expands its jurisdiction at Sun papers (And other news)

    Thursday, November 9, 2017 by The Guild

    11.9.17 – As The Buffalo News expands its weekly newspaper business, the Buffalo Newspaper Guild is expanding its jurisdiction.

    The Guild late last month renegotiated its former Hamburg Sun jurisdiction agreement with management at The News to include the Tonawanda Sun weekly paper, published under the names the Twin Cities Sun and the Ken-Ton Sun. The editorial content will be identical — only the flags and teasers of the publications will differ for marketing purposes.

    The renegotiated agreement now extends editorial jurisdiction over the Twin Cities Sun and the Ken-Ton Sun, publications whose first editions are planned for Nov. 17.

    As established with the initial agreement reached in July regarding The Hamburg Sun, the News agreed to hire part-time and/or full-time employees to work as reporters.

    In addition to reporters, this new agreement also states the News will hire a page designer, who will be a Guild member, to perform design and layout work for editorial content at the Hamburg and Tonawanda Sun weeklies.

    “The new agreement not only carries over the terms negotiated for the Hamburg Sun, but also expands Guild positions and promotes a more dynamic and professional look for the Sun papers,” said Guild President Sandy Tan. “That benefits both the Guild and The News.”

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