ELECTION ADVISORY

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TO: All Local Presidents, Secretaries, Treasurers and Administrative Officers

FROM: Marian Needham, Executive Vice President

DATE: Oct. 30, 2019

RE: ELECTION ADVISORY
issued by the Sector Election and Referendum Committee (SERC)

The Sector Election and Referendum Committee advises locals that federal law prohibits the use of union or employer funds to promote or criticize any candidate for union office. This prohibition applies to all expenditures and resources, including use of facilities, equipment, supplies, paid working time, computers, and email systems. It further includes a prohibition on promoting or criticizing an individual’s candidacy in a union newspaper or by use of any union’s letterhead or other stationery paid for by union funds or bearing the union’s seal or insignia.

Legal risks adhere when this prohibition is not minded. The SERC therefore instructs locals to proceed with caution in dealing with candidate endorsements and criticisms. In all instances, locals should seek to ensure that union funds are not used to endorse or criticize union candidates.

Canadian locals should be aware that the federal law as described herein applies equally to Canadian locals, because this is an international election.

The following is intended to provide guidance and answer questions. If a local is unable to determine whether a particular action is permitted, it should consult with the SERC through the EVP’s office.

1. Can a local union promote, or criticize, a particular candidate in the local newsletter?

No. Federal law prohibits the use of union funds to either promote or criticize a particular candidate for union office. Since the union newsletter is produced with local funds, the local executive body’s candidate endorsement should not be printed in the newsletter.

2. Can a local union promote, or criticize, a particular candidate on the local website?

No. The website, like a union newsletter, is paid for with union funds. Federal law prohibits the use of union funds to promote a particular candidate for union office. A local may not use its website to promote or criticize a particular candidate.

3. Can a local union promote, or criticize, a particular candidate on the local’s Facebook page, or another “free” social networking site?

No. While federal election authorities have not yet decided whether a locally sponsored Facebook page (or another “free” social networking tool) is itself a “union asset” rendering endorsement or criticism of a candidate thereon impermissible, the SERC has concluded that locals should not promote or criticize candidates on their Facebook pages.

4. Can a local union nonetheless allow Guild members to post statements on the local website or Facebook page to promote or criticize candidates?

Yes. Guild locals are permitted, but not required to allow all members (including local officers, in their individual member capacity) to post statements on the local’s website and/or Facebook page etc. to promote or criticize candidates. A local may limit access to these communication sites solely to its own local membership. But if a local permits access to any other Guild member outside of the local, it must permit access to all Guild members. If a local decides to grant this equal access to all local members, or to Guild members outside the local to post campaign statements, it is recommended that the Local give at least two days advance written notice of its adopted policy on its website and/or Facebook page. If the adopted policy allows postings by members outside the particular Local, the Local should provide similar advance notice to the candidates by email as well.

Should a local elect to permit such campaign statements on the part of members, it should include a prominent disclaimer on the applicable web/Facebook page clarifying that the views expressed by members are those of individuals, and not views expressed or endorsed by the local. The local must further ensure that access is granted equally to all local members (and all Guild members, if the local chooses to allow non-local member access) and that members can freely promote or criticize any, and all, candidates.

Sample Disclaimer Statement: Any view expressed on this site related to the Guild election for President, or the candidates seeking that position, are those of the individuals who have posted the statements. They are not views expressed or posted by the (insert local name), nor does (insert local name) endorse or otherwise support any particular view posted by any such individual.

5. Can a local union restrict candidate access to its website, Facebook page, Twitter feed or social media platform to campaign, promote or criticize candidates, when the candidate’s election opponent has such access by virtue of his membership in the local?

No. If a candidate has access to a local’s website, Facebook page, Twitter feed or other social media platform to promote or criticize candidates in the election, then the local must permit the same access to his opponent. The local should provide advance notice of this opportunity to each candidate and grant each candidate equal access to and use of the site. The SERC suggests at least two days advance notice be given to all candidates before a local allows access and use by the candidates of its website or Facebook page, etc..

6. Can a local that elects to allow individuals to promote or criticize candidates on its website, Facebook page, or other social media platform restrict the content of such promotion or criticism?

No. Although a local can limit the length of partisan statements (equal limits applied to all), it cannot regulate or censor the content of such statements. Nor can a local delete or otherwise erase specific content promoting or criticizing candidates.

7. Can a local use its website or Facebook page, etc. to provide links to the websites of candidates?

Yes. A local is permitted, but not required, to post links to candidate websites on its local website, Facebook page, Twitter feed, etc., as long as all candidates are treated equally. If the local decides to post web links for general informational purposes, then it must post the links of all competing candidates. If the local intends to post links only upon request of candidates, the SERC suggests at least two days advance written notice be given to all candidates before a link is posted at the request of a particular candidate.

8. Can a local use its website to provide RSS feeds from a candidate website?

No. The SERC has concluded that it is inappropriate for a local to provide such RSS feeds due to the legal risks and challenges posed.

9. Can locals hand distribute candidate campaign literature to local members?

Yes. Guild locals are permitted, but not required to cooperate with a candidate’s reasonable request for the distribution of campaign literature, provided the candidate is willing to bear the expense of distribution. Should the local decide to cooperate in such requests for distribution, the local must provide advance notice of this opportunity to each candidate, and treat each candidate equally with respect to requests to distribute. The SERC suggests at least days advance notice be given all candidates before literature is distributed at the request of a particular candidate.


11. May a local allow direct candidate access to Local membership e-mail lists or home addresses for purposes of campaigning?

No. In accordance with CWA policy, membership lists are considered a union resource and are not to be shared with candidates or others for campaign purposes. In addition, members have legitimate privacy concerns regarding their personal contact information.

12. May a Local distribute campaign literature at the request of a candidate using local membership lists? By mailing to member home addresses? By emailing to local members using the Local’s email list?

If a candidate requests that a Guild local distribute campaign literature on his behalf, such request may be referred to the SERC through Guild headquarters for handling by the Guild. Upon request and payment of supply, postage and labor costs, the Guild will mail or email campaign literature to members (including subsets of members such as particular Guild locals, as requested by the candidate) on behalf of candidates.

Alternatively, a Local may (but it not legally required to) distribute campaign literature on behalf of a candidate to local members, by mail or by email. But all candidate requests must be treated equally and the candidate should pay in advance all charges related to the distribution (whether by email or by mail). If the Local adopts such an equal access distribution policy, it must give the candidates at least two days’ advance written notice by email. Again, such distribution access must be provided equally to both candidates.

The SERC’s allowance for Local distribution of campaign materials at a candidate’s request reflects a material amendment to the SERC’s prior election rules. This amendment was adopted by the SERC effective February 14, 2019 upon discovery of the incomplete nature of the CWA data base regarding membership email addresses.

Locals are encouraged to update member email addresses in the CWA membership database by accessing the Aptify membership system.


13. May a local permit members (as opposed to candidates) to distribute their own written endorsement of a specific candidate using membership lists for a mailing? Via local e-mail lists?

A local may not directly share its membership lists or contact information for campaign purposes. However, a Local may (but is not legally required to) distribute literature upon request of a local member who supports a particular candidate (an “advocate”), using local membership lists. But all requests must be treated equally and the advocate should pay in advance all charges related to the distribution (whether by email or by mail). If the local adopts such an equal access distribution policy, it should give the local membership at least two days advance written notice by posting that policy on the local website with an explanation of any associated rules or costs. Again, such distribution access must be provided equally to advocates of all candidates.

The SERC’s allowance for Local distribution of campaign materials at an advocate’s request reflects a material amendment to the SERC’s prior election rules. This amendment was adopted by the SERC effective February 14, 2019 upon discovery of the incomplete nature of the CWA data base regarding membership email addresses.

Locals are encouraged to update member email addresses in the CWA membership database by accessing the Aptify membership system.

14. May individual local members (including local officers or employees in their individual capacity) campaign or distribute literature on behalf of a candidate?

Individual members (including Local officers or employees in their individual capacity) are free to distribute campaign material to co-workers by hand, through personal email accounts and personal email lists, or by posting campaign statements on personal Facebook pages and social media sites, as long as no union resources are used. They may also post partisan campaign statements on a Local website or Facebook page, to the extent the Local has adopted a policy to provide equal access to all members for such postings. (See Question 4 above.)

Email and address lists collected by anyone holding an official union capacity – including officers, unit chairs and stewards – as a result of their union position are considered a union asset and can only be used in a non-partisan manner. (See Questions 9 and 12 above.)

WBNG Steward Training Opportunity!

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We’re looking for a few good people to help represent our fellow WBNG employees – making sure their colleagues’ voices are heard, getting members the information they need, and enforcing the contract.

DATE: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2019

TIME: 9:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.
CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST AND LUNCH PROVIDED

LOCATION: 1225 I STREET NW, SUITE 300
WASHINGTON, DC 20005

To sign up, or if you want more information, contact WBNG Vice President Elise Bryant at execdir@laborheritage.org or WBNG Office Manager Nancy Banks, 785-3650 extension 10, nbanks@wbng.org.

DEADLINE TO SIGN UP IS SEPTEMBER 12, 2019

2018 Guild Service Award Winners

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The Washington-Baltimore News Guild Local 32035 is pleased to announce the 2018 Guild Service Award winners.

The Guild Service Awards are as follows: Dan de Souza Memorial Award for Member of the Year; Nadine Grinder Memorial Award for Shop Steward of the Year; Unit Officer of the Year; Organizer of the Year; Bargaining Unit of the Year; Herb Block Award for Community Service and the Connie Knox Memorial Award for Outstanding Service to the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild.

Front Page Awards and Guild Service Awards for both years will be formally presented to the winners at a special ceremony later this year.

Guild Service Awards

 2018

Dan De Souza Member of the Year– Katie MettlerThe Washington Post, for spearheading the social media campaign against the Post during a very difficult round of contract negotiations.

(Yvette De La Cruz, AFL-CIO 2017; Chris Stergalas, Working American 2016; Amanda Erikson, Jenny Rodgers and Ann Tran, The Washington Post 2015; Joel Achenbach, Post 2014; Bruce Kaufman, BNA 2013; Laura Francis, BNA 2012; Freddy Kunkle & Darlene Meyer, Post 2011)

Nadine Grinder Shop Steward of the Year– Dan Gabor, AFL-CIO, for dealing with several complicated issues and resolving difficult grievances for members. (co-winner)

Nadine Grinder Shop Steward of the Year– Daren Neuben, Bloomberg Bureau of National Affairs, for handling many cases with alacrity and professionalism. (co-winner)

(Steve Cook, BBNA 2017; Celeste Drake AFL-CIO 2016; Dina Kastner and Bekki Ow-Arhus, National Association of Social Workers 2015; David Wright, Sun 2014; Lori Richards, UFCW 2013; Dawan Jones, NASW 2012 and Dawan Jones, NASW 2011)

Unit Officer of the Year– Laura Francis, Bloomberg Bureau of National Affairs, for preparing and leading the unit membership through a very creative round of bargaining.    

(Mikhail Romanov, UFCW 2017; Edward Fortney, SEIU 500 2016; Laura Francis, Blomberg-BNA 2015; Freddy Kunkle & Stephen Rocky Richardson, Post 2014; Stephen Rocky Richardson & Nikita Steward, Post 2013; Evan Yeats, UFCW 2012 and Byron Charlton, AFL-CIO 2011)

Organizer of the YearDanielle Ohl, Cody Boteler & Libby Solomon, Chesapeake Unit, for helping organize the Chesapeake Unit (Annapolis Capital-Gazette, Carroll County Times, Baltimore Sun Media Group and Sound Off) into WBNG. (co-winners)

Organizer of the YearBrock Vergakis, Tidewater Unit, for helping organize the Tidewater Unit (The Virginian-Pilot and Daily Press) into TNG and affiliating with WBNG. (co-winner)

(Julie Zauzmer, Post 2017; Elianne Farhar, Center for Popular Democracy 2016; Benjamin Soloway, Foreign Policy 2015; Vladslav Kachka, BNA 2014; Tim Smith, Post 2014; Mo-Yain Tham, RAINN 2013; Chase Brandau, WA 2012 and James Crudup, Post 2011)

Herb Block Community Service– Peter Brusoe, Bloomberg BNA, for his perpetual volunteering spirit with WBNG and other meaningful likeminded progressive organizations.

(None 2017; Elise Bryant At-Large, Lee Anderson AFL-CIO, Jazmin Gargoum, At-Large, and Ashley See, APWU 2016; Jeremy Sprinkle, NC State AFL-CIO 2015; Elise Bryant, At-Large 2014; No winner 2013; Matt Losak, At-Large 2012 and Gwen Holmes, BNA 2011)

Darlene Meyer Customer Service/Accounts Award– Jacqueline Roane-Griffin, The Baltimore Sun, consummate professional and continually fights for the rights of Commission Sales Representatives.

(Jacqueline Roane-Griffin, Sun 2017; Pat Jacobs, The Washington Post 2016; Naazima Ali, Working America 2015; David DeJesus, Post 2014; Monique Carr, Sun 2013; Sheila Washington-Cole, Sun 2012 and Darlene Meyer, Post 2011)

Connie Knox Memorial Award Lifetime Achievement– Mark PattisonCatholic News Service, for his longtime WBNG service as ERC chair, president, treasurer, secretary, executive council member and now CNS unit chair. 

(Robert Lever, Agence France-Presse 2017; Mary Esslinger, Catholic News Service 2016; Karen Coale, American Nurses Association 2015; Mark Gruenberg, At-Large 2014; Ken May, BNA 2013; Bill Salganik, Sun & Reza Namdar, BNA 2012; Connie Knox, Sun 2011)

Unit of the Year– M+R, for meritorious commitment through the organizing/contract campaign and forcing management to replace their anti-union law firm during bargaining.

(AFL-CIO 2017; CPD 2016; BBNA 2015; WA 2014; UFCW 2013; BNA 2012 and none 2011)

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The Member of the Year Award was first presented in 1952 in memory of Dan de Souza, the first president of the Washington Newspaper Guild.  Dan de Souza, a founding member of the local, was killed in a December 1934 automobile accident in Hyattsville, MD.  At the time of the accident, he and a Guild colleague were in route to Newark, NJ, to deliver a holiday load of food and toys for the children of Guild strikers there.  The Newark work stoppage was The Newspaper Guild’s first strike.  The award honors de Souza’s memory and says he died, “that the Guild might live.”

The Nadine Grinder Memorial Award for shop steward of the year honors the tenacious steward-activist at the Washington Post. Grinder died of cancer in the mid-1960s. The award was first issued in 1967.

Unit Chair of the Year Award honors outstanding leadership service within a unit.

Organizer of the Year Award was established to honor the Guild member who organizes members into action.

The Herbert Block (Herblock) Community Service Award was established in 2003 to honor members who make outstanding contributions to the labor community and the community at large.  The award commemorates the life and service of the Pulitzer-winning Washington Post editorial cartoonist, who was a staunch guild supporter. In 1933, Block joined the very first local within The Newspaper Guild — a shop in Cleveland — before he came to work for The Post.  When he died in 2001, Block left $100,000 to WBNG and The Newspaper Guild.

Customer Service Professional of the Year Award for outstanding customer service.  This was renamed in honor of the late J. Darlene Meyer of the Washington Post.  The WBNG Vice President was the paper’s specialist in legal advertising and a veteran leader of WBNG’s unit at the paper.  Meyer died in January 2012.

Connie Knox Memorial Award for long and distinguished service to the Washington-Baltimore News Guild.  Ms. Knox, who died July 17, 2011 just months after her retirement from The Baltimore Sun and as International Chair of The Newspaper Guild-CWA, the Washington local’s parent union.  Knox, a longtime copy editor at the Sun, served for over ten years as WBNG’s president and as a TNG-CWA official.  

Guild Unit of the Year Award is the unit the most successfully meets all the “Build the Guild” program goals and/or set the bar for being an outstanding unit.

2018 Front Page Award Winners

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The Washington-Baltimore News Guild Local 32035
of the News Guild is pleased to announce the 2018 Front Page award winners. These awards recognize outstanding contributions in the fields of journalism, photography and artwork published in 2017. Each entry was adjudicated by an outside panel of experts. The honorees will be recognized at a ceremony this coming fall along with the 2017 and 2019 contest entries. Please join us in honoring these outstanding professionals for their work and dedication.

Commentary & News Analysis

First Place
Rob Levinson of Bloomberg Government for
“What I saw in Charlottesville and What we all Lost”

Second Place
Rob Lever of AFP for
“Social Media and Democracy: Optimism Fades as Fear Rise” |

Third Place
Rob Lever of AFP for
“With Hefner Gone, Playboy’s Impact On Women Still Has People Talking”|

Feature Writing

First Place
Jonathan Pitts of Baltimore Sun for
“Half a Century Later”

Second Place
Robbie Gramer of Foreign Policy for
“How the Trump Administration Broke the State Department”

Third Place
Laura Francis of Bloomberg Law for
“Indian Dreamers Want Shot of Staying in the US”

Frank C. Porter Memorial Award for
Labor & Business Reporting

First Place
Gayle Cinquegrani of Bloomberg Law for
“Generous Parental Leave Policies”

Second Place
Rob Lever of AFP for
“Privacy Fears over Artificial Intelligence as Crime Stopper”

Third Place
Paul Murphy of Bloomberg Government for
“Hub Zone Spending Dwindles as Congress Mulls Program Change”

Labor Unit Publication

First Place
The Guild at Bloomberg BNA

Morton Mintz Award for
Investigative Reporting or Public Service Reporting

First Place
Sam Skolnik Bloomberg Government for
“Inspector General Probes Trump Lease”

National News Reporting

First Place
Dan De Luce of Foreign Policy for
“US Diplomat’s Resignation Signals Wider Exodus From State Department”

Second Place
Ken Doyle of Bloomberg Government for
“Anti-Baldwin Advertising Tops $5 Million with a Year to go”

Third Place
Laura Francis of Bloomberg Law for
“Trump Could Turn to DOJ to Protect US Workers from Bias.”


Nondaily Specialized Reporting
Rob Lever of AFP for
“How Algorithms Secretly Run the World”

Prize for Data Technical Work
Angelina Nikoloff of Bloomberg Government for
“BGov Floor Watch.”

Sports
First Place

Mike Klingaman of Baltimore Sun for
“Race No Concern for Bowie State Sports Hall of Fame 2016 Inductee Rick Simmons”

Local News Photo

First Place
Amy Davis of the Baltimore Sun for
“A Candlelight Vigil was held at Murray Middle School”

Second Place
Algerina Perna of the Baltimore Sun for
“State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby Speaks to a Crowd of about 5,000”

Third Place
Kenneth K. Lam of the Baltimore Sun for
“Selena Slaughter, a Senior and ROTC Student…”

Feature Photo

First Place
Barbara Taylor of the Baltimore Sun for
“Soup Kitchen Viva House”

Second Place
Kim Hairston of the Baltimore Sun
“Dennis Scott Accokeek stands on stage”

Third Place
Kenneth K. Lam of the Baltimore Sun for
“Miles Brooks Kicks Through a Piece of Pine Board”

Sports Photo

First Place
Kenneth K. Lam of the Baltimore Sun for
“Lardarius Webb Breaks Up a Pass”

Second Place
Kenneth K. Lam of the Baltimore Sun for
“Brian Dozier is Tagged out at home by Orioles Catcher”

Third Place
Karl Merton Ferron of the Baltimore Sun for
“Cloud Computing Takes Classic Empire

2017 Front Page Award Winners

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The Washington-Baltimore News Guild Local 32035 of the News Guild is pleased to announce the 2017 Front Page award winners. These awards recognize outstanding contributions in the fields of journalism, photography and artwork published in 2016. Each entry was adjudicated by an outside panel of experts. The honorees will be recognized at a ceremony this coming fall along with the 2018 and 2019 contest entries. Please join us in honoring these outstanding professionals for their work and dedication.

News Analysis
First Place
Kavitha Surana of Foreign Policy for
“The EU Moves to Counter Russian Disinformation Campaign”
Honorable Mention
Reid Standish & Benjamin Soloway of Foreign policy for
“The Pope, the Patriarch and a Little Bit of Putin Foreign Policy” |

Blog
First Place
William Welkowitz of Bloomberg BNA for
“The Contraception Mandate: Collective Action or Individual Grievance?”

Honorable Mentions
Kavitha Surana of Foreign Policy for:
“Hungary Wants Foreign Workers, So Long as They Aren’t Syrian Refugees”

William Welkowitz of Bloomberg BNA for
“They’re Mad as Hell and They’re Not Taking it Anymore”

National & International Reporting
First Place
Reid Standish of Foreign policy for
“Where the War on Terror Lives Forever”

Honorable Mentions
Kavitha Surana of Foreign for
“Policy Roma Fleeing the EU’s Broken Promises Seek Asylum in the US”
Benjamin Soloway of Foreign Policy for
“After 50 Years of Denial, Indonesia takes Shaky Steps Towards Historical Reckoning”

Local News
First Place
Molly O’Toole of Foreign Policy for
“In Virginia, Muslim Voters Greet Trump’s Rise with Anger and Defiance”

Frank C. Porter Memorial Award for
Labor & Business Reporting
First Place
Danielle Paquette of The Washington Post for
“Trump Attacked This Union Leader on Twitter. Then the Real Fight Began”

Honorable Mentions
William Welkowitz of Bloomberg BNA for
“FLSA’s Litigation’s Greatest Hits: Taking Care of Business and Working Overtime”
Rob Lever of AFP for
“Tech Sector Tackles America’s Concussion Epidemic”

Morton Mintz Award for
Investigative Reporting or Public Service Reporting
First Place
Sam Skolnik & Llewellyn Hinkes-Jones of Bloomberg BNA for
“Blackwater to Faux Billionaires: Fed’s Exec Pay Data Flawed”

Feature Writing
First Place
Frank Bodani of York Daily Record for
“Battle-scarred vet’s new mission: Inspiring Kids with Hockey”

Honorable Mentions
Jonathan Pitts of Baltimore Sun for “Non-denominational Evangelical minister, Episcopal priest: One man leads two congregations in historic Catonsville church”

Sports
First Place
Reid Standish of Foreign Policy for
“What Russia’s Ministry of Doping Tells Us About Putin?”

Honorable Mention
Mike Klingaman of Baltimore Sun for
“When the Ballplayer Became a Neighbor”
Commentary
First Place
Amy Davis of Baltimore Sun for
“Brooklyn’s Jim Herget a Kind and Gentle Man who loved Movie Houses”

National News Photo
First Place
Barbara Haddock Taylor of Baltimore Sun for “Donald Trump Poses for a Selfie”

Honorable Mentions
Amy Davis of Baltimore Sun for “Seaman Michael Santiago”
Amy Davis of Baltimore Sun for “Senator Mikulski hugs Secretary Clinton”

Feature Photo
First Place
Algerina Perna of Baltimore Sun for “Stepping It Up”

Honorable Mention
Kim Hairston of Baltimore Sun for “Zatia Vaughn of Brooklyn Park”

Local News Photo
First Place
Kenneth Lam of Baltimore Sun for “Fox 45 Bomb Threat:
Honorable Mention
Algerina Perna of Baltimore Sun for “Last Day of Ramadan”

Sports Photo
First Place
Kenneth Lam of Baltimore Sun for “Manny Machado Goes over Red Sox Dugout”

Web Graphic
First Place
Adam Griffiths and C.K. Hickey of Foreign Policy for “Fragile States Index”