January Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

President Pat Gormley called the meeting to order at 5:40 p.m, Jan. 20, 2010 at One News Plaza.

Tammy Turnbull discussed funding for food, refreshments and meeting space rental for local membership meetings, particularly the three Wednesday meetings; the Saturday, Aug. 14 local meeting/picnic will be dealt with separately.

The cost of the meeting room at the CWA District 1 Office, 821 Elk St., Buffalo, is $50 per meeting. The room seats 75 people and there are chairs for 75 people which can be made available for the meeting.

Turnbull and others are hopeful we will have a good turnout at the initial local meeting of the year, which will focus on health care. Key topics will include The News’ state-of-The-News meetings as well as The News management’s (Dan Farberman and Warren Colville) meeting with Marian Needham and Newspaper Guild President Bernie Lunzer in Washington, D.C.

Sandy Tan said members will be made aware of the meeting in several ways, including email blasts, Web site notices and flyers. There will be maps distributed so members are familiar with the location of the CWA office. The first meeting will help gauge attendance and procedures for meetings to follow.
Motion/Second/Carried Davis/Meyer: To fund the three Wednesday 2010 local meetings (Feb. 10, May 5, Nov. 17) for $150 ($50 per meeting) designated for the meeting space and up to $600 (up to $200 per meeting).

Sandy Tan discussed Dan Herbeck’s presentation of his draft of a report on “Newspapers Are Important,” a multi-faceted initiative to promote the paper and its importance in the community. Herbeck will present his idea to a Labor Management Committee meeting in the near future. It would be a cooperative effort between The Guild and The News.
“It’s a way of promoting The News’ work and the impact The Buffalo News has on this region,” said Tan, who noted that other media entities do a good job of promoting themselves even though they don’t nearly have the impact The Buffalo News does. Channel 2’s “On Your Side” is an example.
The campaign would include publicity initiatives including a speakers’ panel, in which News reporters and editors speaking at schools or rotary meetings; as well as an experts list, so that other area media interested in discussions of various topics would know what key News experts to talk to.

Tan said the Mobilization Committee discussed that, with The News hiring more and more part-timers to replace full-timers, that a special outreach should be organized so that new part-timers know what The Guild does and how we can assist them as our members. Committee members are putting together a Q&A list to be given to new part-time members that is specific to their part-time parameters.

Turnbull discussed forming an organizing committee for new members. A major initiative of the CWA this year is expected to be organizing new members, particularly if the Employee Free Choice Act passes this year.

MSC Heaney/Tan: To establish an organizing committee for new members.

Discussion of a new finance committee chair and the executive committee editorial member vacancy. Finance committee member James Heaney agrees to become the chairman.
The editorial vacancy is discussed and candidates will be further discussed at the February meeting.
Gormley and Turnbull discussed recall rights as they are outlined in the contract and the question of how recall rights should be applied when a laid-off employee is offered a position different than the job he or she left.

M/S/C Heaney/Tan: To authorize Turnbull to approach the international, and possible local legal counsel, about obtaining a legal opinion with regards to the issue of recall rights.

Discussion of State of The News meetings scheduled for Jan. 27. The News has relayed through LMC meetings that the financial picture is better than anticipated, said Gormley.

Heaney reminded the Executive Committee of the Finance Committee’s recommendation — made when it finalized the 2010 budget — that there be a transfer of duties from the Guild’s treasurer to the Guild’s local service representative. “We need to move forward on that,” Heaney said.
LMC Committee report by Heaney: At the last LMC meeting of 2009 in December, the committee laid out what it wanted to discuss in 2010, Heaney said. He said The Guild’s side wanted The News’ decision makers at the table, something that did not always happen in 2009.

Progress has been made in training in Classified and an initiative has moved forward in Editiorial; the issues of marketing the paper will be addressed in the future by Herbeck; and a major subject of discussion is the vision of The News in new media, including the current set up that is buffalonews.com and buffalo.com.
Also at the December meeting, progress was made involving jurisdictional issues in which Guild work that was supposed to be performed by Guild members was being assigned to freelancers; those situations are now being addressed.

The next Executive Committee meeting is Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 5:30 p.m. at The News fifth-floor cafeteria; the following day (Wednesday, Feb. 10) the first local meeting of the year will be held at 5:30 at the CWA District 1 Office, 821 Elk St., Buffalo.

New members: Chris Yaeger (part-time district manager)

M/S/C Gormley/Tan: To adjourn at 6:37 p.m.

In attendance: Tammy Turnbull, Pat Gormley, Dick Fay, Sandy Tan, Bob Snyder, Keith McShea, Susan Kelley, Brian Meyer, Henry Davis, Carolyn Raeke, Jim Heaney, Tom Buckham, Carol Jones, Felice McMillion, Beverly Gniewecki.

Excused: Kim Leiser, Aretha Willis, Chuck Fischer.