May 2011: Executive Committee minutes

President Henry Davis called the meeting to order at 5:05 p.m, May 18, 2012 at One News Plaza, second-floor meeting room.

Motion/Second/Carried Leiser/Clark to accept the minutes as published at

Committee reports


Phil Fairbanks reported that an arbitration date of Aug. 2 has been set regarding the dismissal of an editorial guild member.

A grievance has been filed on behalf of the ABC vacation issue.

Regarding the circulation/holiday pay issue, The News has agreed to pay four people who had the understanding they would be getting paid on a day off and the guild is accepting that as a settlement.

The Guild and The News agreed settled a grievance regarding freelance work and jurisdiction with the following agreement on municipal, school and community jurisdiction.

The agreement is regarding strictly local government news coverage, and it changes the meaning of jurisdiction to a geographic definition. The agreement, based on municipalities, reinforces much of what we are doing now.

The proposal, dated May 11, 2012:

1. Municipalities: Establish a population threshold of 13,000 for local government meeting, enterprise and community coverage in Erie and Niagara Counties.

2. Schools: Establish a student enrollment threshold of 3,000 for school board meeting and enterprise education coverage in Erie County except for the East Aurora school district, which will remain Guild jurisdiction, and the Grand Island school district, Which will not become Guild jurisdiction. There is no Guild jurisdiction regarding school districts in Niagara County, except for the Niagara Falls and Lockport school districts, which would remain Guild jurisdiction.

3. Villages: All villages within the Guild’s municipal jurisdiction will fall under Guild jurisdiction, except for the villages of Blasdell and Angola.

4. The Guild agrees to meet with management to discuss possible changes in its municipal and school jurisdiction in the event there is further downsizing of the newsroom.

Fairbanks/Tan MSC to accept, conceptually, the “municipal, school and community jurisdiction” agreement with the understanding that contract language will next be put together.


Leiser paid for a program for remote computer access to the Guild computer and it is working very well.


Tan said two afternoon-long training sessions were held with the committee brainstorming “tons of ideas.” “If management is going to give us a hard time, we’re going to give them a hard time.”

Welcome packets for new guild members are completed. They are streamlined and updated with new information for interns and better information for part-timers, which are the primary people we are hiring these days. The schedule for new interns coming in is set and mobilization’s “Welcome Wagon” program is ready for meet-and-greets.

New business

M/S/C Davis/Leiser to approve hospital co-payment for Guild member from the fund we have set up for that. Davis/Leiser MSC.

M/S/C Davis/McShea that the Guild show a vote of support for Larry Cohen & Annie Hill as president and secretary of the CWA.

M/S/C Fairbanks/Tan that the job share agreement regarding Greg Connors in sports be approved, contingent on McShea getting satisfactory answers to his questions.

Davis update on negotiations: The two sides met Tuesday and The News offered a detailed presentation on where they saw their finances headed over the next few years. Both projections resulted with The News losing money in 2013. Expenses are going up; revenues are not going up. There was no proposal. The next meeting is set for May 27.

The company was very interested in lowering the number of personnel in newsroom, as well as lower cost of people in the newsroom. They have obligations to inform employees of the financial info and will be holding employee meetings Thursday.

Davis/Leiser M/S/C to adjourn at 5:47 p.m.

Attendance: President Henry Davis, Vice President Phil Fairbanks, Vice President Sandy Tan, Secretary Keith McShea, Treasurer Kim Leiser, ABC Chief Steward Felice McMillion, ABC delegate Carol Jones, classified chief steward Beverly Gwiewecki, district manager chief steward Dick Fay, editorial/clerks chief steward Susan Kelley, editorial/dayside chief steward Geoff Nason, editorial delegates Aaron Besecker, Denise Gee and Brian Meyer, inside circulation delegate Tricia Clark.