October 16, 2019 Executive Council Meeting

Washington-Baltimore News Guild
Executive Council Meeting Minutes
Date of Meeting: October 16, 2019

Present: Hau Chu, Steve Cook, David DeJesus, Ed Fortney, Dan Gabor, Jasmine Gargoum, Joel
Gratz, Don Griesheimer, Fatima Hussein, Tom Jackman, Freddy Kunkle, Marissa Lang, Katie
Mettler, Justin Moyer, Sam Nelson, Bill O’Meara, Mark Pattison, Ben Soloway, Jeremy Sprinkle

Excused: Elise Bryant, Mark Gruenberg, Karma Zurkhang

Staff: Rick Ehrmann, Bruce Jett, Paul Reilly, Cet Parks

Meeting was called to order at 7:17 PM

I. Minutes

  • July 20, 2019 – Hau Chu motions to approve minutes and motion was seconded. Motions passes to approve July 20, 2109 minutes.
  • August 21, 2019 – Hau Chu motions to approve minutes and motion was seconded. Motion passes to approve August 21, 2019 minutes.
  • September 21, 2019 – Mark Pattison motions to approve minutes and motion was seconded. Motion passes to approve September 21, 2019 minutes.

II. Membership Report (No Aptify Stats)

  • August 21, 2019 & September 21, 2019 – Justin Moyer motions to approve the August and September membership reports and motion was seconded. Motion passes to approve August 21 and September 21, 2019 membership reports.

III. Executive Director’s Report & Staff (Sep & Oct)

Cet Parks

  • Baltimore Sun – request approval of July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 contract extension. Justin Moyer motions to approve the request and motion was seconded. Motion passes.
  • Solidarity Center –tentative contract agreement reached – requests council approval of contract. Tom Jackman motions to approve and motion was seconded. Motion passes.
  • Florida AFL-CIO – requests approval of the bargaining committee consisting of Jerimiah Tattersall, Phyllis Garrett and Cet Parks. Hau Chu motions to approve and motion was seconded. Motion passes.
  • UFCW – requests retroactive authority to arbitrate Evan Yeats disciplinary action. Ed Fortney motions to approve and the motion was seconded. Motion passes.
  • AFT NEROP – requests retroactive authority to arbitrate David Thomas termination. Justin Moyer motions to approve and motion was seconded. Motion passes.

Rick Ehrmann

  • Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF) – requests approval of new SAF contract. Jeremy Sprinkle motions to approve contract ratification, and motion was seconded. Motion passes.
  • NC State AFL-CIO – requests approval of bargaining committee consisting of Jeremy Sprinkle, Aiden Graham, and Rick Ehrmann. Motion passes.
  • Center for Popular Democracy – requests council approval of bargaining committee consisting of Maggie Corser, Michelle Kilpatrick, Dean Mendolera, Francesca Menes, Kate Terenzi and Rick Ehrmann. Hau Chu motions to approve and motion was seconded. Motion passes.

Paul Riley

  • AFT-NEROP – requests council approval on new three year contract. Justin Moyer motions to approve and the motion was seconded. Motion passes.
  • AFP – requests approval of bargaining team consisting of Rob Lever, Katie Schubauer, Elodie Cuzin, Ian Timberlake, Heather Scott, Paul Sherno and Paul Reilly. Justin Moyer motions to approve and the motion was seconded. Motion passes.
  • American Prospect – requests council approval of bargaining team consisting of Marcia Brown, Jonathon Guyer, Alex Sammon and Paul Riley. Hau Chu motions to approve and motion is seconded. Motion passes.

Bruce Jett

  • League of Conservation Voters – requests council approval of bargaining team consisting of Liz Jacobs, Emily Woodland, Kevin O’Brien, Jose Dominguez, Tiffany Hsieh, Sammi Sluder and Bruce Jett. Justin Moyer motions to approve and motion is seconded. Motion passes.
  • United for Respect – requests council approval of bargaining team consisting of Kendra Cornejo, Maria Rojas and Bruce Jett. Justin Moyer motions to approve and motion is seconded. Motion passes.

Eric Geist

  • No action items.

IV. Financials

Summary of Financial Highlights – July 19, 2019

  • Mark Pattison motions to approve July financial report and motion is seconded. Motion passes.

Summary of Financial Highlights – August 19, 2019

  • Mark Pattison motions to approve August financial report and motion is seconded. Motion passes.

Bob Paul’s invoice – September 19, 2019 & others

  • Justin Moyer motions “The Executive Director, President, Treasurer and the local staff as directed by the executive director shall initiate all contact and communications with WBNG legal counsel. The Executive director shall notify retained legal counsel that that no other WBNG member shall initiate contact with WBNG legal counsel that will be billable. This shall not prevent legal counsel from contacting members regarding ongoing matters where contact has already been approved by the ED, president or treasurer. As appropriate when matters are brought to legal counsel and approved for work by the legal counsel, the ED, President or treasurer shall inquire about the expected scope of the work being approved in terms of billable hours. The ED, President and Treasurer shall make every effort to consider if issue to be referred to legal counsel can be resolved or answered in some less costly manner”.
  • The motion is seconded and motion passes.

Budget 2020

  • Justin Moyer motions to approve a draft budget for 2021/22 by December 31, 2019 and motion is seconded. Mark Pattison presents a friendly amendment to change the date to 2020 and the amended motion is accepted. Motion passes.

V. Old Business

MD State & DC – AFL-CIO Convention

  • A roll call vote failed due to lack of quorum, and the motion was moved to a board poll.

MD State & DC AFL-CIO Delegates

  • No action taken.

HPAE Investigation

  • Fatima Hussein acting as prosecutor for EC regarding charges against Bryan Nelson (HPAE) recommends that no charges should be pursued against Bryan Nelson.

Support for Nascent Guild unit/Arizona Republic

  • Mark Pattison requested EC to consider support for Guild unit at Arizona Republic. After discussion it was recommended that EC reach out to Stephanie Basile for further direction.

JWJ Education Fund

  • Deferred to next meeting.

CWA PAF

  • Jeremy Sprinkle motions to make a donation of 10 cents per member or $157 to the CWA Pediatric Aids Foundation and motion is seconded. Motions fails approval.

American Prospect 30th Anniversary Gala/Testimonial

  • No action taken.

President and Steward Training Reports

  • Steve Cook discussed Steward Training facilitated by Elise Bryant and Jason Albright.

VI. New Business

CPD 2019 NYC Gala

  • No action taken.

Labor Notes Conference

  • Deferred to next EC meeting.

Executive Council Vacancy

  • Two candidates were nominated to replace the At-Large delegate seat held by Latisha Harvey (Joel Gratz and Jasmine Gargoum). A roll call vote was taken but lacked quorum to establish a valid vote, and a vote will be conducted by Board Poll.

TNG Election

  • Katie Mettler discussed importance of upcoming TNG election and requested EC to send out a notice to inform members.

VII. Good & Welfare

  • No action taken.

VIII. Personnel Caucus

  • No action taken.

IX. Adjournment

  • Mark Pattison motions to adjourn and the motion is seconded. Motion passes and meeting was adjourned.

September 21, 2019 General Membership Meeting

WASHINGTON-BALTIMORE NEWS GUILD
Minutes of General Membership meeting of SEPTEMBER 21, 2019

President Steve Cook (Bloomberg Industries Group) presiding. The number of members meeting in person and on the phone did not meet the quorum of 25.

Minutes: Minutes of the July membership meeting were discussed. No action was taken.

TNG vice presidency: Sheila Lindsay, who won a four-year term in January as Region 2 vice president to TNG’s Sector Executive Council, had her membership on the SEC lapse due to the interruption in her service. Cook said he was asked by the Sector Executive Council if he would serve out the remainder of the term. As per TNG bylaws, the Sector Executive Council may make a choice, but must issue a “call for election” in case others are interested.

Baltimore Sun: Executive Director Cet Parks (at-large) said Sun unit members were prepared to vote Sept. 23 to ratify a contract extension that guarantees raises to them without the draconian takeaways previously proposed by management, and includes a me-too clause so that the Sun-owned Chesapeake Guild unit members — currently bargaining their fist contract — would get the same raise given to Sun members. Sun unit activist Amy Davis said management was trying to pit commercial vs. newsroom workers. Commercial workers felt like they had a target on their back. Solidarity efforts, including the weeklong byline strike, helped.

York Daily Record: Parks said management doesn’t want to give raises, and is proposing only takeaways. The Guild has proposed a one-year extension with a 2 percent bonus.

Real News Network: The unit ratified its first contract unanimously, and the pact was signed Sept. 17. After a management change, management took bargaining seriously. RNN member Jocelyn Dombrowski attended TNG’s New Local Officer Seminar.

Organizing: Membership from Lambda Legal after getting its first contract is at 46. Two satellite offices are in right-to-work states.

League of Conservation Voters: The unit hopes to start bargaining in October.

Center for Popular Democracy: This employer seems to be funneling money to another nonprofit working on related issues — one which WBNG is organizing.

Steward training: WNBG recently conducted steward training for its units higher up the Eastern Seaboard in conjunction with the New York local. A Baltimore-based steward training could draw members from the Sun, York, Chesapeake and Real News Network. The local-wide steward training workshop is set for Sept. 28.

Awards: A reminder was issued to RSVP for the Sept. 26 Front Page and Guild Service Awards reception and ceremony.

The meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,
Mark Pattison (Catholic News Service)
WBNG Executive Council member

September 21, 2019 Executive Council Meeting

WASHINGTON-BALTIMORE NEWS GUILD
Minutes of Executive Council meeting of SEPTEMBER 21, 2019

Present: Steve Cook (Bloomberg Industries Group), president; Elise Bryant (at-large), vice president; Justin Moyer (Washington Post), treasurer; Bryan Nelson (HPAE); Mark Pattison (Catholic News Service); Ben Soloway (Foreign Policy); Jeremy Sprinkle (North Carolina AFL-CIO); Hau Chu, Tom Jackman, Freddy Kunkle (Post); Don Griesheimer (American Nurses Association); Fatima Hussein (BIG); Tim Fitzgerald (American Postal Workers Union).

Staff: Cet Parks (executive director), Bruce Jett (organizer). The quorum of a majority was not met.

Excused: Ben Cooper 9BIG), Scott Dance (Baltimore Sun), David DeJesus (Post); Mark Gruenberg (at-large).

Executive Council member LaTisha Harvey is no longer employed by BIG.

Minutes: The July meeting minutes were reviewed. Both Kunkle and Fitzgerald said they were present during the meeting, with the record corrected to reflect that.

Financial report: The July report reflected another monthly gain, while the fiscal year to date still shows a loss. Ideas on how to protect the local’s financial health were discussed. The need for a strategy to be developed was among those ideas. Parks asked members with ideas to pass them along to Moyer.

HPAE investigation: Hussein, who had been appointed as the prosecutor in the investigation into charges levied by an HPAE member against Nelson, reported on the outcome of her investigation. She said probably cause does not exist to file charges against Nelson. She said she will consult with local attorney Bob Paul to see whether the decision is appealable.

New business: All business scheduled to be resolved during the September meeting will have to be considered for the October meeting.

The next Executive Council meeting is scheduled for WEDNESDAY, OCT. 16, at 7 P.M., at the local’s Washington officer, 1225 Eye St. NW, #300.

Respectfully submitted,
Mark Pattison (CNS)

August 21, 2019 Executive Council Meeting

Washington-Baltimore News Guild
Executive Council Meeting Minutes
Date of Meeting: August 21, 2019

EC Present: Hau Chu, Steve Cook, Lillyanne Daigle, David DeJesus, Tim Fitzgerald, Ed Fortney, Dan Gabor, Don Griesheimer, Mark Gruenberg, Fatima Hussein, Freddy Kunkle, Katie Mettler, Justin Moyer, Bryan Nelson, Bill O’Meara, Mark Pattison, Jeremy Sprinkle, Michelle Wang

Excused: Elise Bryant, Sam Nelson

Staff & Guests: Rick Ehrmann, Paul Reilly, Cet Parks

Meeting called to order at 7:05 PM

I. Minutes

July 20, 2019

• Mark Pattison motioned to approve minutes and motion was seconded. Joel Gratz requested to speak on minutes reflecting possible lack of EC member quorum, and general membership members making motions at the EC meeting.

• Freddy Kunkle and Jazmin Gargoum also pointed out that names of some EC members appeared to be missing from EC roll call.

• Secretary DeJesus stated some agenda items which were part of the EC meeting packet were discussed at the General Membership meeting (Executive Director’s Report & Staff), addressing Joel Gratz’s motion procedures concern.

• After further discussion Dan Gabor makes a friendly amendment to the motion, to delay approval of minutes until revisions are made and presented at next EC meeting. Motion was seconded. Motion to defer July 20, 2019 until next EC minutes was passed.

II. Membership Report and Stats

• July 20, 2019 – August 21, 2019. Don Griesheimer motions to approve membership report and motion was seconded. Motion passes to approve July 2019 membership report.

III. Executive Director’s Report & Staff

Cet Parks

• Real News Network – requests approval of contract. Hau Chu motions to approve and motion was seconded. Motion to approve Real News Network contract passes.

• SEIU 500 – requests approval of SEIU contract extension. Hua Chu motions to approve and motion was seconded. Motion to approve SEIU contract passes.

• HPAE – requests approval of HPAE contract. Bill O’Meara motions to approve and motion was seconded. Motion to approve HPAE contract passes.

• Baltimore Sun –Cet Parks provides update on key bargaining issues. Bill O’ Meara recommends putting through SIF request for Baltimore Sun bargaining. No action items.

• UFCW – requests discretionary authority to arbitrate Amy Ritter case. Mark Pattison motions to approve and motion was seconded. Motion to arbitrate Amy Ritter case passes.

• UFCW – requests discretionary authority to arbitrate Holly Bigelow case. Don Gabor motions to approve and motion was seconded. Motion to arbitrate Holly Bigelow case passes.

• UFCW – requests discretionary authority to arbitrate Telecommuting case. Hau Chu motions to approve and motion was seconded. Motion to arbitrate UFCW Telecommuting case passes.

• Cet Parks provided update on upcoming Stewards Training event scheduled for September 28, 2019. Dan Gabor recommends using Action Network to assist member RSVP’s for the event, Lillyanne Daigle volunteered to assist.

Rick Ehrmann

• No action items

Paul Reilly

• Foreign Policy – requests approval of contract pending ratification by members. Mark Gruenberg motions to approve and motion was seconded. Motion to approve contract contingent on ratification passes.

• Radio Free Asia – Michelle Wang, Paul Reilly, Cet Parks and Steve Cook discuss concerns regarding handling of title reclassification issue at RFA.

Eric Geist

• No action items

Bruce Jett

• No action items

IV. Financials

Summary of Financial Highlights June 19

• Cet Parks reviews legal costs associated with Radio Free Asia/Huidong Cao arbitration as requested at a prior meeting (Don Griesheimer). Don Griesheimer spoke to a need of best practices going forward when EC issues a decision on arbitration, and that decision is overridden by general membership.

• Cet Parks reviews June 2019 financial report. Mark Pattison motioned to approve June 2019 financial report, and the motion was seconded. After further discussion, the Motion to approve June 2019 financial report passes.

Bob Paul Invoices for July 2019

• No action items.

Bob Paul’s Retainer

• Justin Moyer motions to defer discussion to next council meeting, and motion was seconded. Motion to defer Bob Paul Retainer discussion to next EC meeting passes.

Extension of Bruce’s and Eric’s Contract

• Cet Park discussed contract status of Bruce Jett and Eric Geist and requests council to renew their contracts for six months. Bill O’Meara motions to approve contract extensions and the motion was seconded.

• Justin Moyer motioned a friendly amendment to accept contract extension contingent upon a freeze of future external organizing activities, due to fiscal constraints. Motion was seconded. Bill O’Meara declined acceptance of friendly amendment.

• After further discussion on this issue, Dan Gabor motioned to reclassify Bruce Jett as a bargaining unit member similar to other professional staff/full time staff member, and motion was seconded.

• Bill O’Meara declined friendly amendment to reclassify Bruce as a full time staff member, and after further discussion Bill O’Meara called the question to end debate. A vote was taken and motion to call the question passes.

• A vote was taken on Bill O’Meara motion to extend the contracts of Bruce Jett and Eric Geist. Motion to extend Jett and Geist contracts for six months passes.

• Mark Pattison proposed a substitute motion to establish a search committee to examine the financial feasibility of bringing on an organizer onto the staff, and if feasibility is demonstrated, to move forward with hiring process. The motion was seconded.

• There were further discussions regarding budgetary impact of sustaining a full time employment, and potential legal implications of continually extending contracts.

• Dan Gabor rejected all friendly amendments to his motion and called the question on reclassifying Bruce Jett.

• A roll call vote was taken Mark Pattison motion to establish a search committee to examine the financial feasibility of bringing on an organizer onto the staff, with (6) yes votes and (10) no votes. The motion was not adopted.

• A vote was taken on Dan Gabor’s motion to direct Executive Director Cet Parks to reclassify Bruce Jett as a member of the unit represented by tits collective bargaining agreement, consistent with other full time employees. A roll call vote was taken with (11) yes votes, (4) no votes and (1) abstention. The motion passes.

V. Old Business

TNG Election Re-run

• Katie Mettler spoke on TNG election re-run and presented information to assist maintaining current member addresses and contact information to encourage voter turnout. There was additional discussion on communication processes to engage unit membership.
CWA Convention/Funding our Fight for the Future

• Steve Cook gave update on key issues covered at CWA Convention.

HPAE Update

• Fatima Hussein provided update on HPAE investigation. There will be a report to the EC prior to or at the next EC meeting.

Press Associates Invoice

• After discussion Mark Pattison motions to continue payment of Press Associations invoice. Motion passes to continue payment of Press Associates invoice.

Front Page Awards Ceremony – Scheduling

• Jazmin Gargoum provided update on Front Page awards program venue and planning. Requested approval for funding event at Mindspace at cost of $3,000 to cover venue, licensing, food and beverage costs.

• Dan Gabor motions to approve proposal and motion was seconded. Dan Griesheimer discusses third party liability concern (insurance). After further discussion Freddy Kunkle calls the question to end discussion. After a vote, the motion passes to end debate.

• Motion to approve Front Page Awards Ceremony proposal passes. It was agreed that Jazmin Gargoum would look into insurance liability issues as discussed.

VI. New Business

MD State & DC AFL-CIO Convention

• Dan Gabor motions to respond to the letter to attend the MD State & DC AFL-CIO Convention and motion was seconded. Motion passes.

Organizing Committee Report

• Next organizing meeting to discuss internal vs external organizing issue and assistance with address functions will be held at a date to be determined.

Bylaws Committee Report

• No action items

Stewards Committee Notes

• Previously discussed

VII. Good & Welfare

• Black Women’s Pay Equity Day

• The Moment Was Now play

VIII. Personnel Caucus

• No action items

IX. Adjournment

• Dan Gabor motions to adjourn and motion is seconded. Motion passes and meeting is adjourned at 10:05 PM.

July 20, 2019 Executive Council Meeting

Washington-Baltimore News Guild
Executive Council Meeting Minutes
Date of Meeting: July 20, 2019, 11:39 AM

EC Present: Steve Cook, Ben Cooper, David DeJesus, Tim Fitzgerald, Ed Fortney, Dan Gabor, Don Griesheimer, Fatima Hussein, Tom Jackman, Freddy Kunkle, Katie Mettler, Justin Moyer, Sam Nelson, Bryan Nelson, Mark Pattison

Excused: Elise Bryant, Mark Gruenberg, Jeremy Sprinkle

Staff & Guests: Rick Ehrmann, Paul Reilly, Cet Parks

I. Minutes and Board Polls

June 19, 2019

• Justin Moyer motions to accept June 19, 2019 minutes, motion was seconded. Minutes of the previous meeting were approved with corrections and Motion Passes.

II. Membership Report and Stats

• June 19, 2019 – July 20, 2019. Don Griesheimer motions to approve and was seconded. Motion Passes.

III. Executive Director’s Report & Staff

• Please see July 20, 2019 General Membership Meeting Minutes, for Executive Director’s & staff report.

IV. Financials

Summary of April 19 Financial Highlights

• Cet Parks and Justin Moyer provided a general update of financial highlight. A motion was made to approve financials and was seconded. Motion Passes.
Bob Paul Invoices for May 2019

• No action items

Bob Paul Retainer

• Cet Parks and Justin Moyer provided an update on the presentation of Robert Paul retainer fee proposal. Agree to revise proposal terms relating to retainer fee (from $7.5K to $15K per month) and remove paragraph five (5) and present to Robert Paul.
Press Associates Invoice

• Justin Moyer motions to cancel annual Press Associates subscription. Motion was seconded. Further discussions followed.

• Mark Pattison suggests that the issue be deferred to the communications committee for further review. Justin Moyer withdraws his motion and motion to withdraw was seconded.

• Mark Pattison motions to defer the Press Associates subscription discussion to the Local’s Communication Committee for its consideration and recommendation. Motion was seconded. Motion Passes.

V. Old Business

Funding Our Fight for the Future

• President Cook and Cet Parks provides update on the funding issues to be discussed at CWA convention.

Front Page Awards Ceremony Scheduling

• General discussion on dates and best ways to host program. Freddy Kunkle suggests to setting up an events committee to oversee FP Awards and other events to assist in organizing.

• Steve Cook appoints Jazmin Gargoum and Peter Brusoe to report back at the next EC meeting with an action plan for FP and Guild Service Awards.

The Moment Was Now – Play

• No further discussion

Florida AFL-CIO Biennial Convention

• Justin Moyer motions to appoint Danielle Florence as a delegate to the NW Florida Federation of Labor and is seconded. Motion Passes.

VA AFL-CIO 24th Biennial State Conference

• No action required.

NC State AFL-CIO 62nd Annual Convention

• No action taken

Labor Councils

• Dan Gabor provides background and motions to allow WBNG to pay capita based on residence of members. Motion was seconded. Motion Passes.

VI. New Business

Delegate Letter to NW Florida AFL

• Sam Nelson speaks to People of Color retreat (July 23). No further action needed.
Charge Against Chapter Co-Chair and Delegates (HPAE)

• Fatima Hussein provided an update on initial steps of investigation.

VII. Good & Welfare

• No action items

VIII. Personnel Caucus

• No action items

IX. Adjournment

• Mark Pattison motions to adjourn and motion was seconded. Motion Passes and meeting is adjourned at 12:56 PM.