Draft February 2012 Executive Committee Minutes

President Henry Davis called the meeting to order at 12:06 p.m, Feb. 14, 2012, at One News Plaza, second-floor meeting room.

Phil Fairbanks reported on grievances.

Guild representatives Henry Davis, Fairbanks and Sandy Tan met with newsroom management regarding the Guild’s concern about the work of freelancers appearing on the front page of the paper and on the cover of the Spotlight section.

The Guild was to send a letter to newsroom management documenting the meeting took place.

Kim Leiser reported on finances and said “we’re in good shape.”

Lost time was $34,315.13, of which $27,308.30 was spent on negotiations; conferences played a part in the rest of lost time.

The CWA reimbursed all but about $2,700 for Sandy Tan’s lost time.

For comparison: In the last negotiations, in 2005, the lost time amount was in the $45,000-$50,000 range. This year’s committee was scaled down from the much larger committee in 2005.

Henry Davis noted that we spent considerably less than in previous negotiations.

Sandy Tan reported on mobilization.

The committee met last week and talked about different ways to keep our members involved, she said. Among the things discussed was that instead of holding a summer picnic meet at a park, perhaps the Guild could purchase discounted tickets to a Bisons game, a family friendly activity and get-together.

The committee discussed monthly activities such has having the coffee truck out front, ice cream truck out front — similar to some recent mobilization efforts during negotiations. Happy hours were also mentioned. Opportunities to get out of the building to mingle and get to know each other further.

Tan said she would need to talk to Kim regarding costs of these smaller activities on a more frequent basis.

Tan is looking forward to the part-time workshop on Feb. 25. A invitation was put together and mailed out to part-timers. There are hopes of a good turnout with $25 gift cards being provided to all participants — who have to stay to the end of the meeting to get their gift card.

Davis was hoping to present some information to part-timers regarding public-private health plans.

New business:

On April 20-22, there will be a major Newspaper Guild conference in Cleveland. It should attract reps from guilds throughout the U.S. & Canada. Henry, Tammy, Kim and  Marian are expected to attend. Interested? Let us know.

With no sector conference this year, TNG did not want to let a whole year go by without meeting. It should be a productive meeting with a section on collective bargaining and TNG goals, successes and failures will be discussed.

Davis said one of the Guild’s goals is to host a training program, here in Buffalo, in which other locals from the Great Lakes and Southern Ontario would participate. Barbara Saxburg of Canada, a leadership expert, is expected to attend. We’ll hear more about it in the coming months.

Davis said the community service committee has met and we’re hopeful that it will succeed.

Davis said Tammy had a great idea regarding another way to engage our members — through small meetings, departmentally based. They can be helpful for both sides. A quite table generally hearing people out; it’s something we should do beyond negotiations.

Tan offered that one of the small meetings she sat in on was much more relaxed and was quite productive.

Tan will be trying to jump-start the Labor-Management Committee meetings following the State of The News meetings.

Sandy discussed the idea of bringing different speakers to the general meetings, possibly the new digital director at The News, or others who would be a benefit for our members — financial advisors or insurance representatives who could educate our members in their services. She said the guest speaker idea is one that could pique interest in the general meetings.

Motion/Second/Carried Davis/Fairbanks to adjourn at 12:41 p.m.

Attendance: President Henry Davis, Vice President/Grievances Phil Fairbanks, Vice President/Mobilization Sandy Tan, Treasurer Kim Leiser, Secretary Keith McShea, office manager Tammy Turnbull, editorial delegate/clerks chief steward Susan Kelley, classified chief stewart Renee Mikler, classified delegate Beverly Gniewecki, editorial delegates Aaron Besecker, Denise Gee and Mike Harrington.