Guild March 2014 executive committee minutes

Agenda emailed prior to meeting:

Guild Executive Committee Meeting Agenda for March 19, 2014

The agenda is as follows:

Approval of minutes

Committee Reports
— Finance: Kim Leiser, quarterly Guild financial report
— Contract administration: Mark Sommer
— Mobilization: Phil Fairbanks

Old Business
— Outreach effort update
— 2014 contract negotiations update
— Solidarity/support for other unions

New Business
— Stipend for Guild treasurer
— Consultant to advise Guild on self-funded health insurance
— Guild participation in Shoreline cleanup in April


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

President Henry Davis called the meeting to order at 5:06 p.m, March 19, 2014 at The News’ second-floor conference room, One News Plaza.

Treasurer Kim Leiser issued a basic finance report; a written report will be provided next month as it will then be the end of the quarter.

Mark Sommer had nothing to report on grievances.

Phil Fairbanks said the mobilization committee has met three or four times since the first of the year in preparation for bargaining. A survey was conducted and the bargaining team has the results.

The committee discussed a job action for the first day of bargaining, with one possibility that the bargaining team would appear in each department, perhaps talking with people, perhaps just showing up to applause/standing ovation so let presence be known.

There are plans to have employees wear stickers on the first day of negotiations.

Fairbanks said the committee is working on a comprehensive plan for the rest of bargaining and they are preparing an application to the international for funding; the Guild was successful in doing so during our last negotiations.

In old business, Tammy Turnbull reported that the Guild met with the graphics department and had a good, “really helpful” meeting; a meeting with the photographers is set in two weeks. Some newsroom departments and the inside circulation department will be next; she is talking with Dick Fay about setting up a time with the part-time district managers.

“We’ll keep plugging away and hopefully get those done as soon as we can,” she said.

President Henry Davis updated the committee on negotiations.

The News recently conducted a presentation, which included consultants on self-funded insurance, which Davis described as a “very good session” and he credited The News for putting it together. It was sort of a “self-funding 101” Davis said.

Turnbull commented that the self-funded insurance gives the Guild an opportunity to go through a “bridge-building exercise” with other bargaining units at The News. She has arranged meetings with other units.

“We pass each other in building all the time, but we have very few connections with these folks,” Turnbull said. “The self-funded insurance could help us build a bridge to other unions so we could all benefit.”

Davis said the bargaining team met today and discussed the self-funded issue, and also discussed possibly proposals.

Davis again discussed the importance in making connections with other unions and the larger labor movement. He noted that there are two cases before the Supreme Court which could “devastate” unions. One involves mandatory paying of dues.

Davis discussed that a number of years ago, the treasurer’s stipend used to be $5,000; prior to Leiser becoming treasurer, that figure was lowered to $1,500.

“Finances at that time were kind of a mess,” said Davis. “Since become Treasurer, Kim has done an outstanding job. We have quarterly written reports, new software …

“It is only fair that Kim get what vice presidents get: $2,500. For 2014, that money would have to come from the general fund. In future years, it would be budgeted. It is a well-deserved move.”

Dave Robinson has worked on the finance committee for many years.

“I can remember meeting many times with other members, and going over the Guild’s books — we didn’t have a real written budget. Just trying to figure it out and trying to figure expenses and revenues was [tough]. … Kim has done a great job straightening things out.”

Motion/Second/Carried Fairbanks/McMillion to increase the Guild treasurer’s stipend from $1,500 to $2,500; with the money coming from the general fund for 2014 and for it to be budgeted for future years.”

Davis mentioned that the Guild’s annual shoreline cleanup in honor of Jay Bonfatti would be Saturday, April 26 and that a bulletin would be distributed on it soon. “It is a great way to remember Jay,” he said.

There is an issue involving “Cheap Eats” in Gusto which the Guild will be following up on.

M/S/C Besecker/Gee for a hospital reimbursement to be approved.

M/S/C Davis/Besecker to adjourn at 5:43 p.m.