Guild executive committee minutes: Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018

Buffalo Newspaper Guild executive committee minutes: Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018

President Sandy Tan called the meeting to order at 5:05 p.m, Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018 at The News’ second-floor conference room, One News Plaza.

VP for Contract Administration Aaron Besecker issued his committee report.

* Besecker said the Guild still has an issue in classified with work being done by non-affiliates. The committee approved a grievance Sept. 13.

* The Guild sent a letter in July to management regarding freelancer usage on the cover of Home & Style. The Guild had previous agreement with Spotlight (published through April 2014) that up to five times a year, a non-guild writer could be used for the cover story. That letter was ignored. However, since then, all Home & Style cover stories have been done either by Guild members or off the wire, not by freelancers.* Niagara Weekend – the Guild has issue with the use of contributed photos, an over-reliance on stringer stories, and stringer stories that violate jurisdiction. A meeting was held Jan. 15. “I think we have really good arguments, it’s pretty black and white,” said Besecker, “but they want to fight with us about it. … there is a clause in our contract that says they can supplement NW with freelance stuff. … we read them the definition of ‘supplement.’ ”

Sandy noted that The News has said that Niagara Weekend has been on death’s door, and they’re not going to do anything that makes it more difficult to produce.

“If they don’t want to be reasonable, we can be equally unreasonable in everything we do,” Besecker said.

VP for Mobilization Dan Kirchberger issued his committee report.
Kirchberger detailed how the Guild finished its December Blitz job actions, which included Bills reporters, then Bills and Sabres reporters, and then all Guild reporters, to change their Twitter logo to a Guild logo. They were considered a success.
The membership will be asked to change their twitter photo back to their usual profile photo.
Kirchberger reported that “the balloon guy reached us to us.”
Colin Dabkowski said that the Free Fred Brown production is now shelved after WNED backed out of co-sponsorship. 

The diversity committee consists of Joe Giglia, Brian Connolly, Colin Dabkowski. Lori Moskal was on the committee but no longer works for The News. The committee is stipulated in the contract, but “clearly needs a reboot” said Colin.

A mentorship program was discussed. Henry Davis reaffirmed that “there’s interest out there” when it came to schools like UB and Buffalo State seeking help with their student newspapers. “That’s where many schools have lost funding,” Davis said, “or they have limited advisors.”

Sandy Tan said a social activity for all members is coming soon, likely a happy hour.
Motion/Second/Carried Kirchberger/Davis to approve the minutes for December’s executive meeting.
Breaking news: Mike Connelly sent out an email with the subject line “What we face in 2018” at 5:16 p.m. The email was summarized and discussed.
Sandy Tan provided a bargaining update; negotiations begin Thursday. She said there have been “many, many, many informal conversations before bargaining.”
Kim Leiser summarized an issue regarding part-time employees doing freelance work, namely Nick Veronica (part-timer in sports who was hired as a clerk but has been working out of class) doing additional freelance work for BN Blitz.
Veronica was scheduled on shifts for Blitz work. That was a violation of labor law. The News will cease scheduling freelancers on shifts. The sports department needs to monitor this.
Also, for this year, Veronica will receive benefits. Joe Giglia basically said to Kim: You’re right, we’re wrong.
News Executive Sports Editor Josh Barnett and other managers were notified of how The News cannot schedule freelancers on shifts and how part-timers cannot be used in this way as freelancers.
MSC Dabkowski/Sommer to send up to two officers to TNG New Officer Training, held the first week of March in Maryland.
Sandy Tan said that Louie’s restaurant on the fifth floor is not doing well. Sandy has met with them and said that Louie’s will begin a 10 percent off for employees promotion on Tuesdays. Tan stressed the importance in having an on-site food service establishment for our members.
Sandy Tan adjourned the meeting at 6:17 p.m.

Attendance: President Sandy Tan, Vice President/Grievances Aaron Besecker, Vice President/Mobilization Dan Kirchberger, Treasurer and ABC chief steward Felice McMillion, Secretary Keith McShea, Administrative Officer Kim Leiser, past president Henry Davis, inside circulation delegate Diana Gawron, editorial delegate/clerks chief steward Susan Kelley, editorial delegates Mike Harrington, Mark Sommer, nightside chief steward Mike Pesarchick and editorial alternate delegate Scott Scanlon.

Excused: District manager co-steward Phil Tavernier, Frontier Reporter editor Ellen Pryzpasniak.Absent: Editorial delegates Phil Fairbanks, David Robinson and Trey Bankhead, district manager co-steward David Williams, inside circulation delegate Latrice Carr, editorial alternate delegate Jeff Miers, district manager alternate delegate Bob Snyder.