Guild January 2014 executive committee minutes

Agenda emailed prior to meeting:

Guild Executive Committee Meeting Agenda for Jan. 15, 2014

Approval of minutes
— Nov. 13 local meeting

Committee Reports
— Finance: Kim Leiser
— Contract administration: Mark Sommer
— Mobilization: Phil Fairbanks

Old Business
— Update on outreach strategy: Tammy Turnbull

New Business
— Discuss 2014 contract negotiations
— Discuss roll out of Univera health plans
— Discuss issue involving Buffalo News website


Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2014

President Henry Davis called the meeting to order at 5:11 p.m, Jan. 15, 2014 at The News’ second-floor cafeteria, One News Plaza.

Motion/Second/Carried Robinson/Leiser to approve the 2013 minutes of Oct. 16 and Nov. 12 executive meetings and the Nov. 13 general meeting.

Treasurer Kim Leiser handed out a first-quarter progress report and made a brief report.

Vice President/Grievances Mark Sommer reported that the Guild succeeded in keeping an assistant editor’s job after management wanted the assistant editor fired following an late 2013 altercation. The assistant editor was suspended 90 days without pay, demoted and transferred.

Sommer reported that hockey writers are eligible to filed expense reports for traveling to the morning skate on game days.

In the matter of a classified employee who has had issues with management, the guild is meeting with its attorney and likely will pursue something short of a grievance.

Tammy Turnbull reported that the Guild has not yet finished its outreach plans; there are a few departments in the newsroom which need to be scheduled, among others, and Dick Fay is supposed to report what time/day would be best for the district managers.

New business

Henry Davis reported that negotiations may begin in February.

“Every negotiation is difficult,” Davis said. “Our suspicion is this one could be very difficult.”

Davis said that there were many complaints after the new Univera health plans were rolled out with the first of the year. Davis said that the Guild is keeping tabs on it, including an issue involving guest memberships.

Davis said that there are plans for to become the home of Gusto. In a related issue, the News employee who was working for will now be working under Bruce Andriatch of the features department.

It was noted that this shows how the company’s previous attempts to run were a failure.

M/S/C Leiser/Gniewecki that the Guild send up to four people to the multi-council meeting in Orlando from April 11-13. There will be no voting at this meeting, but there will be many discussions as all units get together.

Turnbull attended the first meeting of the WNY Federation of Labor, which has been part of the Guild’s initiative to become more involved with other labor movements locally.

Davis stressed the potential advantages of networking in this way, noting that the Newspaper Guild has tended to be rather insular. He said this is a chance to benefit from being part of larger labor movement, and being aware of what’s going on outside our own building.

M/S/C McShea/Robinson to adjourn at 5:30 p.m.

Attendance: President Henry Davis, Vice President/Grievances Mark Sommer, Treasurer Kim Leiser, Secretary Keith McShea, office manager Tammy Turnbull, classified delegate Beverly Gniewecki, editorial delegate David Robinson, ABC chief steward Felice McMillion.

Excused: district manager delegate Bob Snyder and editorial delegates Aaron Besecker and Trey Bankhead and editorial delegate/clerks chief steward Susan Kelley.

Absent: Past president Pat Gormley, district manager chief steward Dick Fay, district manager delegate Brian Long, classified chief steward Renee Mikler, editorial delegates Denise Jewell Gee, Mike Harrington, Phil Fairbanks, nightside chief steward Mike Pesarchick and Mary Beth Pauline.