The traditional role of a union is to advocate for better wages, benefits and working conditions. We give members a voice.
But unions also have a long history of community service, and The Buffalo Newspaper Guild has set a goal in 2012 to fulfill this other role.
We all have a stake in the success of our community. The more we do to make Western New York a better place to live, the more we help ourselves and the newspaper we depend on for our livelihoods.
Volunteering can be a source of satisfaction. Community service also can enhance the image the public has of The Guild and The News.
Finally, we want to encourage more participation in the Guild, beyond contract negotiations and other typical union business. Community service can offer members an opportunity to get involved and help others at the same time.
The Guild has formed a Community Service Committee that will be led by reporter Gene Warner. The committee’s charge is to identify volunteering opportunities for our members, as well as their spouses and children, and to help put the initiatives into practice.
Our hope is that we can find projects to adopt, establishing long-term relationships with non-profit organizations. We’re also hopeful of reaching out to retirees in this endeavor.
The committee – which includes Denise Jewell Gee, Colin Dabkowski, Renee Mikler, Dan Herbeck, Jay Rey and Gene Warner — has met once and zeroed in on three possible types of activities:
1) Literacy education/Just Buffalo/reading to the blind
2) Buffalo Niagara Riverkeepers/parks cleanup
3) Speakers Bureau/classroom lessons
Stay tuned for more information as the committee digs further into the issue.