Executive Committee Meeting Minutes May 2021

President Sandy Tan called the meeting to order at 5:04 p.m. Monday, May 17, 2021 via Zoom.

Secretary Keith McShea acknowledged that he owed the committee general and executive minutes for February and executive minutes for March. 

Motion/Second/Carried Sommer/Gawron to approve the executive committee minutes for April.  

Grievance Committee Report

Vice President for Contract Enforcement Aaron Besecker said that most  of the current grievances would be handled as a part of contract negotiations. 

Included among them is a grievance involving the sports pagination clerk work that the Guild contends is being done by Lee Enterprise non-Guild employees. Besecker said Lee has posted for a position which as described matches most, if not all, of the job duties formerly handled by News clerks. News clerks were all bought out in 2020. 

He said that some inside circulation developments would be covered during the discussion of negotiations. 

Mobilization Committee Report

Vice President for Mobilization and Communication Rachel Lenzi reported on the mobilization committee’s meeting earlier today as it pertains to contract negotiations, including social media initiatives and in-office efforts. 

President’s Report 

Tan provided an update on bargaining, which was supplemented by Administrative Officer Kim Leiser. 

Old business 

Tan discussed the continued problems in circulation caused by a so-called “optimization” plan by management which has led to delivery delays, the loss of several independent contractors who deliver the paper, massive overtime hours for district managers and continued and escalating frustration from subscribers. 

Tan said that upper management was unaware of many of these problems until they were notified by the Guild. She said that the company said they would address the situation, and it did to some degree, increasing financial incentives for employees and posting for additional positions.  

Joan Portman said that she had never seen anything like this circulation situation in her 39 years at The News. “I feel kind of sad that the situation has gotten this bad. I can’t even describe it.”  

New business

The committee discussed what role the Guild should play, if any, regarding The News having employees who had been working remotely to return to One News Plaza. 

M/S/C Tan/Lenzi to have the Guild donate $75 to the Manatee County Food Bank in the memory of Eugene McShea.

Tan said that there would be general meetings at noon and 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Tan adjourned the meeting at 6:34 p.m.

Attendance: President Sandy Tan, Vice President/Grievances Aaron Besecker, Vice President/Mobilization Rachel Lenzi, Treasurer and Inside Circulation steward Diana Gawron, Secretary Keith McShea, Administrative Officer Kim Leiser, District Manager steward Joan Portman, Editorial nightside steward Mike Pesarchick, Editorial delegate Mike Harrington, Editorial delegate Mark Sommer, Editorial delegate Scott Scanlon, Editorial delegate David Robinson, District Manager alternate delegate Bob Snyder, Typographical dayside steward Hilary Osborn.

Excused: Sun Papers steward James Farrell, Past President Phil Fairbanks.

Absent: Typographical nightside steward Mark Hanover, Editorial alternate delegate Jeff Miers.