Tammy Turnbull heads to The News Guild-CWA

In her 15 years as the Buffalo Newspaper Guild’s local service representative, Tammy Turnbull has served as an indispensable leader and a reliable constant in a changing industry.

From handling challenging contract negotiations and complex grievance procedures to shepherding the Guild through four office moves, Turnbull’s diverse work and skills have helped to shepherd the Guild and its members through one of the most challenging times in its history.

In January, Turnbull took a job as sector representative with NewsGuild-CWA, where she will parlay many of the skills she developed with the Buffalo Newspaper Guild to help other locals facing mounting challenges with shrinking resources.

“The 15 years I spent with the Buffalo local allowed me the opportunity to learn and develop as a union activist,” Turnbull said. “I was lucky to work with smart, dedicated and supportive officers, board, committee and general members. Buffalo has always been a beacon of light to Guild newspapers because of its leadership, inclusion and mobilization efforts. I am pleased that I will continue working with Buffalo in my national staff representative capacity.”

Turnbull started as an office manager for the Guild in 2000, following a tumultuous period following the departure of former longtime staff representative Marian Needham, now vice president of NewsGuild-CWA. Within two years, she was promoted to local service rep and quickly became an expert in the issues facing the Guild and its members.

Her duties during that time are too many to list, but included crucial roles in the Guild’s contract negotiations, mobilization efforts, grievances, arbitrations, election procedures, interactions with the international and dealings with the National Labor Relations Board.

“Tammy knows our contract, has institutional knowledge, and is respected by News management,” Guild President Henry Davis said. “Her combination of patience and persistence, her ability to listen and gain the other side’s trust, and her knack for coming up with solutions to problems will be hard to replace.”

As a Guild’s search committee formed in February works to find a replacement for Turnbull — no easy task — she will remain involved in the upcoming bargaining sessions for a new contract and as a resource for the Guild as one of the many locals she now serves.

Turnbull said her new job in many ways mirrors the duties and issues she faced during her long tenure as Buffalo’s local service rep — “just on steroids.”

“I am eager to take on the challenges our union and industry face today and in the future,” she said. “It is a very exciting time. There are so many innovative and creative things happening in the Guild, From staff organizers to joint newspaper mobilization efforts, things are cooking at the international It is a great honor to be part of an organization that has committed to moving itself and its members forward.”