Draft February 2012 Local Meeting Minutes

President Henry Davis called the meeting to order at 5:36 p.m, February 15, 2012, at One News Plaza, first floor auditorium.

Fairbanks/McShea Motion/Second/Carried to approve the November local minutes.

Phil Fairbanks reported on grievances.We do not have formal grievances, he said, but some unresolved issue in classified regarding an individual’s lunch break; with DMs regarding jurisdiction of group lists; in customer service regarding jurisdiction and where the Guild bulletin board should be.
In editorial, there is an issue with jurisdiction regarding freelance stories which have run on Page One of the paper (a plane crash anniversary, a story based in Rome regarding artwork, coverage of the New Hampshire primary) and on the cover of Spotlight. There was a meeting last week between the Guild and newsroom management, one described by Fairbanks as “all in all a pretty good meeting, but there are still some loose ends.”

Sandy Tan reported on mobilization.

The committee met last week and is pursuing new ways to be active and engaged with membership during a non-negotiation year. Instead of a holiday party or a summer picnic, maybe there will be bimonthly events like the visit of an ice cream truck, happy hours, and a group outing to the Bisons.

Next Saturday the Guild is holding a special forum directed at part-time guild members across all departments.

The Labor-Management Committee will be restarted, and there will be more on that later.

Treasurer Kim Leiser could not attend but reports that the Guild spent $28,521 in lost time after negotiations; we spent a little more than $4,200 on mobilization, $3,000 of which was reimbursed by CWA. Overall, in our last negotiation year of 2005 we spent more than twice than that.

Henry Davis spoke about the Feb. 25 outreach to part-timers. He hoped it would be better than last year, when the event was held for the first time. Part-time work used to be a rarity; but now a large part of our guild is part-timers. We need to find out their concerns and we want to let them know about benefits of last year.

Davis cited Tammy Turnbull’s “great idea” of departmental meetings so we can find out what people are thinking and what is going on. It’s a great way of connecting faces with names in a much more casual setting. The Guild can find out what members’ concerns are in a noncontract year setting. It’s another attempt, Davis said, to engage people with the Guild.

Davis discussed plans for the Guild to put on conference on leadership skills here in Buffalo; one which would invited other guilds from surrounding areas and would feature a trainer of leadership skills. A date is being worked on. It should be be a really informative event, Davis said, while it would help our Guild to make connections with other guilds.

A community service committee has been formed. “I think it can help members be connected with the Guild and it enhances the image of the Guild and The Buffalo News.” The committee has met once and there are a number of different initiatives, including clean-ups, literacy campaigns and other things tied to third floor and efforts tied to family-friendly things.

The Labor-Management Committee — the LMC — was formed in 2009 with its aim to have the Guild have a greater voice in the future of the newspaper. They were helpful in that we received updates on The News’ financial information and we had an arena to voice our concerns on a regular basis. Jim Heaney (who took the last buyout) was the representative. We are committed to renewing that on monthly basis. Sandy Tan will be the representative. The LMC was Heaney’s brainchild and an excellent idea. When not negotiating, the Guild and The News should be working together so we can save money — to live long and prosper — so we all have jobs.

We’re going to try hard this year to restart the LMC to see what level of commitment there is, and hopefully this will work out better. Last time, Dan Herbeck strongly recommended speakers bureau, having a list of newsroom experts to speak to other media and to other fraternal organizations and schools on various topics. If anyone else has any ideas, let us know.

In the question-and-answer period, Jack Weibel expressed his thanks to the bargaining committee.

M/S/C Davis/Fairbanks to adjourn at 5:55 p.m

Attendance: President Henry Davis, Vice President/Grievances Phil Fairbanks, Vice President/Mobilization Sandy Tan, Secretary Keith McShea, office manager Tammy Turnbull, editorial delegates Mike Harrington, Mike Pesarchik; Budd Bailey, Tricia Clark, Dick Baldwin, Katie Skorupa, Christina Wilemski, Chris Fisher, Miguel Rodriguez, Dan Kirchberger, Lauren Mariacher, Jay Tokasz, TJ Pignataro, Matt Gryta, Jack Wiebel, Dawn Bracely.