December Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

President Pat Gormley called the meeting to order at 12:35 p.m, Dec. 14, 2009 at One News Plaza, second-floor meeting room.

Tammy Turnbull reviewed the bylaw changes approved by The Newspaper Guild and scheduled to be approved by the local membership at the Dec. 15 meeting.

Turnbull thanks Beverly Gniewecki and Kim Leiser for participating in the bylaws review process. Marian Needham reviewed the bylaws changes, then they were forwarded to TNG, which signed off on the changes.

A separate handout has the exact wording that will be changed in the bylaws as well as explanations. A summary, with new language in “quotation marks”:
* Article II, Section 1: Regular meetings of the membership shall be held “at least quarterly.” (instead of “monthly”)

* Article II, Section 2: The president or the secretary shall give not less than five days’ notice by mail, “email, posting on the Local’s Web site and on all Buffalo Newspaper Guild-CWA departmental bulletin boards” to the membership in advance of every meeting. (no language was changed, just the addition).

* Article III, Section 1: The [Executive Board] membership divisions, as of “November of 2009” (instead of “October of 2008”) are comprised of the following groups: … Classified Advertising Department/Advertising Customer Service Department (those two departments were merged).

* Article V, Section 2: Nominations of officers shall be received from the floor at the regular membership meeting in “the last quarter of the calendar year.” (instead of “October.”)

* Article XI, Section 2: The budget for the fiscal year beginning “October 1” (instead of “January 1”) shall be printed in the “September Frontier Reporter” (instead of “notice of the December meeting”).
* Article XIII, Section I: “The Frontier Reporter shall be posted on the Local’s Web site and on all Buffalo Newspaper Guild-CWA departmental bulletin boards.” (an addition needed since the Frontier Reporter is no longer mailed).
* Article XIV, Section 2: A similar language change to Article XIII, Section I.
Motion/Second/Carried Fairbanks/McShea to present the bylaw revisions to the general membership at the local meeting as discussed.

Turnbull discussed the recommended 2010 local membership meeting dates.

The first of four meetings would deal with health care; part of an effort to give each local meeting a theme and attract more members. Wednesday was selected in hopes of attracting more members in the middle of the week.
Site options discussed included the CWA office on Elk St., the News’ fifth floor cafeteria, nearby bar/restaurants Morrissey’s and the Swannie House.

M/S/C Tan/Raeke: To approve the four dates for local meetings: Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 5:30 p.m; Wednesday, May 5 at 5:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 14 local meeting/summer picnic at time TBA; Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 5:30 p.m.; sites are to be determined.
Turnbull discussed the establishing of 2010 executive meeting dates. It was noted that the lunchtime meetings tended to be rushed and that the executive committee meetings will now have more business done during them since the local meetings will only be quarterly.

The second-floor meeting room after work is agreed upon as an ideal time. The original dates of Monday are changed to Tuesday because Tan covers Amherst board meetings on Mondays. If there are meetings in which the workload allows, they could possibly be scheduled at lunchtime.

M/S/C Fairbanks/Robinson:: To approve Guild Executive Committee meetings at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays: Jan. 12, Feb. 8, March 9, April 13, May 4, June 8, July 13, Aug. 10, Sept. 14, Oct. Nov. 16, Dec. 14.
The labor management committee is seeking ideas on objectives for 2010. Encourage members to submit by email to Guild office ( any ideas for consideration by the committee.

Heaney recaps the previous meeting, where The News financial standing is discussed; there was progress made in training in classified. Heaney said, “the more ideas the better. We want to set goals.”

Marian Needham talked about The Buffalo News changing its corporate restructure in relation to Berkshire Hathaway; going from a division of BH to a wholly-owned subsidiary of BH.

M/S/C Fairbanks/Raeke: That the Executive Committee be authorized to ratify an agreement on behalf of the local that provides continuous and uninterrupted employment and benefit accrual for bargaining unit members throughout the transfer of The Buffalo News from a division of Berkshire Hathaway to a wholly-oned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. The Executive Committee is further authorized to agree to change the preamble of the collective bargaining agreement to reflect the paper’s new status as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. No such agreement shall be signed until the final text has been approved by TNG general counsel.

Needham and Turnbull discussed recall rights (Article 6 of the collective bargaining agreement); members were laid off, and The News is posting part-time positions. The Guild needs to come to a determination on how the recall rights should be applied because this is language that hasn’t been used before; Turnbull notes we have to think about the long-term implications of that decision. It will be further discussed at the next meeting.

Tan noted that the Guild has to be cognizant of jurisdictional issues as The News tries to get the same work done with fewer people.

M/S/C Gormley/McShea: To adjourn at 1:43 p.m.

In attendance: David Robinson, Carolyn Raeke, Tom Buckham, Felice McMillion, Pat Gormley, Bob Snyder, Carol Jones, Sue Kelley, Chuck Fischer, Tammy Turnbull, Kim Leiser, Beverly Gniewecki, Henry Davis, Phil Fairbanks, Sandy Tan, Dan Herbeck, Keith McShea.

Excused: Brian Meyer and Dick Fay.