Local Meeting Minutes: Dec. 8, 2021

President Sandy Tan called the meeting to order shortly after 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, in the former cafeteria of the News building with additional participants joining in by Zoom.

Tan provided an update on the Alden Global Capital bid for Lee Enterprises, offering a detailed timeline of events and the response by the Buffalo Newspaper Guild and Guild units at other Lee papers.

Tan emphasized that leaders of Guild chapters at 12 Lee papers have been coordinating their responses, both on social media and in messages to Lee executives.

It’s a troubling situation, given Alden’s track record at its other papers, Tan said, but there are reasons to be hopeful given how Lee executives, its board of directors and some of its largest shareholders have reacted to the Alden offer.

Tan then called for a brief break so that people attending the meeting in person could grab some pizza before it got cold.

Tan then introduced Win Jacob, a senior financial advisor with Level Financial Advisors, who gave an extensive overview and addressed numerous questions from members related to the pension freeze and other changes to the pension and 401K plans.

Tan and Jacob then took some general, non-pension questions from the membership, including on hiring of reporters and editors and the ongoing price increases.

Tan then announced the Guild holiday part was canceled this year because of Covid-19 concerns. In lieu of a party, the Guild will send to members holiday cards with new face masks.

Tan also sought assistance from Guild members interested in participating in the Lee unions’ anti-Alden campaign. And she wished everyone a good holiday season and asked Guild members to keep in their thoughts some of their colleagues who have experienced difficulties in recent days.

Tan adjourned the meeting, which was well attended in person and online, shortly after 6:30 p.m.