October 17, 2017 – Executive Council Meeting

In Attendance:  Bob Struckman (President), Tim Fitzgerald (Treasurer), David DeJesus (Secretary), Freddy Kunkle, Mark Pattison, Mark Gruenberg, Jazmin Gargoum, Chris Stergalas,  Matt Losak,  Steve Cook, Cet Parks (Executive Director), Paul Reily (Rep), Rick Ehrmann (Rep), Amy Lampkin (Member)

By phone:  Elise Bryant (Vice President), Ben, Ed Fortney, Yvette De La Cruz, Keith Barnes, Bruce Jett (Organizer), Joel Gratz (Member), Alan Troyan (Member)

Unexcused:  Everyone else

Sheila Lindsay called the meeting to order at 7:15 pm.

Bernie Lunzer, TNG President and Marion, TNG Executive Vice President was in attendance to swear in the new officers, Bob Struckman, President, Elise Bryan (Vice President) and David DeJesus (Secretary).

Newly elected president, Bob Struckman opened up the meeting with a unity message from himself and newly elected vice president, Elise Bryant. Important time for our Local. As united as we can be. “New direction”, “Include more of our members”. Gratitude to Sheila and Amy, congrats to Dave, Mikhail, thanks and broad support. Respect and dignity for each other. Chris Stergalas reached out to Bob, who looks forward to working with him.

Financials

Cet Parks went over the August financials, loss of $16,484; for the year loss of $30,141. Mark Pattison moved, Matt Losak seconded.  Motion to approve the August financials passed.

Tim Fitzgerald, Treasurer, went through the proposed budget for the fiscal year of October 1, 2017-September 30, 2017.  Tim moved to accept the budget, Chris Stergalas seconded. Gruenberg abstains.  Motion to approve the 2017-18 budget passed. Fitzgerald mentions possible amended budget next month.

New Business

Label Project for Working Families – Lindsay proposed table topic to next meeting; Gruenberg metions this is an Oakland grassroots group; Paul Reilly mentions that CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffans is on board. Struckman requested this be deferred.

Requested that a copy of contributions over the past years be shared with new administration;

Motion was made by Matt Losak and seconded by Yvette De La Cruz to donate $250 for a holiday basket to Community Services Agency of the Metropolitan Council.  Motion was passed.

Motion was made by Mark Pattison and seconded by Sheila Lindsay to donate $250 for a holiday basket to the Baltimore CLC.  Motion was passed.

Sheila Lindsay made a motion, seconded by Matt Losak, to purchased 4 tickets at $60 each ($240 total) to the Jobs with Justice I’ll Be There Awards.  Motion was passed.

December 9 at 10:00 am was named as the date for the Guild Service Awards. 

Old Business

Election results announced – no questions or comments

AT&T conference lines discussion on opening the lines.  Sheila Lindsay notes cost issues involved which are substantial, and considering alternatives.  Suggestion made for Nancy Banks to provide more details on costs.  Jazmin Gargoum requests that we experiment with assorted services to gage service.

Administrative Officers Report

Organizing funding – Parks asked retroactive authority to pay Bruce Jett’s weekly payment for October  through December for organizing consulting services – Gruenberg motioned, second by Steve Cook. Motion passed.

Struckman spoke to the organizing, stating, “Going forward organizing will be member lead through the strategic plan.” This should not stop Jett for now.  Further conversation, Gruenberg ok w/amendment of motion; Ben Cooper ask if we’re already budgeted for Bruce; Fitzgerald – deficit is from fiscal year ’17; just accepted through Aug. Have budgeted for 2018 – Jet is factored into 2018 – EC had accepted to keep Jett through Sept.; Losak questioned about money from CWA, Lindsay-Parks responded – TNG had found Digital funds back in June but further funding had ceased. Gruenberg showed thanks for Bruce bringing in new units totaling #130K for 2018.

Cet Parks seeks approval of bargaining committee for Real News Network consisting of Jocelyn Dombroski (Unit chair), Eze Jackson (Vice Chair General), Cameron Granadino (Vice Chair Studio), Kayla Rivara (Secretary), Uruj Sheikh (Chief Steward) with alternate Adam Coley. Stergalas motioned, second by Gruenberg. Motion carried

Arbitration – UFCW retroactive approval – Jazmin Gargoum motions.  Steve Cook seconds.  Motion carried.

Staff Reports:

Rick Ehrmann – Washington Post – Co-chair Freddie Kunkle spoke to the report on bargaining-management lead with same procedures as the BBNA owners tried;

In These Times – approval of bargaining committee – Miles Kampf-Lassin, Sarah Lazare and Ehrmann. Gruenberg motioned, Stergalas second. Motion carried.

Democratic Socialists of America – approval of bargaining committee – Ryan Mosgrove, Eileen Casterline and Ehrmann – motion by Losak, second by Cook. Motion carried.

M+R Strategic Services – request to approve bargaining committee was tabled due to some concerns expressed.

Paul Reilly – Foreign Policy – request council approval for tentative agreement on a two-year contract – motion by Stergalas, second by Fitzgerald. Motion carried.

Raw Story – request council approval for bargaining team – Noor Sibai, Elizabeth Preza, David Ferguson and Reilly. Motion by Gruenberg, second by Losak. Motion carried.

Organizing report – discussed during EC session.

Membership report – Sept. 11, 2017 – Oct. 17, 2017  – motion by Gruenberg, second by Stergalas. Motion carried.

Minutes   – heavy discussion held around the presentation of minutes – whether the Local should post full script of minutes or summary of actions passed by the council; committed to having members to be aware of conversations taking place during the EC meetings. Discussion of minutes posted to website – Parks – states that based on discussion with Legal counsel, a summary of minutes should be fine to post to website; Gorgum – stated minutes should be as bland as possible; Lindsay – post a summary but still have full notes – establish archive digest; Yvette dela Cruz – respectfully disagrees – critically important. Create a members only section; contract be taken down – attacks on us; so many members not in our area; Joel Gratz (AFL-CIO, WI) – minutes are not summaries – need to learn about the local. Not sufficient to post summaries. Have not seen what he has asked for; Kunkle – difference between notes and minutes, different people take different notes; if it’s too summarized – they can ask for more detailed notes. Minutes can be summarized, grievances – don’t need to have co-workers no your business; shouldn’t cover up putting on contracts on website.

Struckman requests permission to turn chair over to past president Lindsay, as he had to leave to pick up daughter; Bryant was by phone; all agreed. Chair was passed over to past president Lindsay to continue meeting. Before leaving states that stuff behind a firewall, making suer our members have access to what goes on here; Elise – minutes – secretary takes notes, minutes focus on actions – discussion and who said what doesn’t go into minutes.; Lindsay –that has been the past practice. Kunkle makes motion to move on. Motion carried.

Guild Service Awards – Dec. 9 at 10am at DC office. To take place after General Membership meeting.

Adjournment

Chris Stergalas motions to adjourn.  Freddy Kunkle seconds.  Motion carried.

September 9, 2017 – Executive Council Meeting

Present: Sheila Lindsay, Amy Lampkin, Mikhail Romanov, Chris Stergalas, Gabe Gonzalez, Keith Barnes, Cet Parks, Bruce Jett, Mark Gruenberg

Excused absences: Mark Pattison, Alan Troyan, Scott Dance, Yvette De La Cruz, Jazmin Gargoum, Tim Fitzgerald, David DeJesus

Unexcused absences: Lauren Byers, Seth Dietz, Laura Francis, Ed Fortney, Sam Nelson, Anthony Wilson, Karma Zurkhang, Sam Nelson, Steve Cook, Renato Mendoza, and Frederick Kunkle

President Lindsay calls the meeting to order at 11:58 am.

I. Financials

Amy Lampkin reports that Tim Fitzgerald says the budget committee will meet on Wednesday or Thursday.

II. New Business

Amy Lampkin provides a review of the local’s history on paying half of the lodging expenses for conventions if a delegate requests their own room. Mikhail Romanov notes that while the local’s other delegates were well aware of its past practices, he was never informed he would be charged for half of his lodging to attend the CWA convention and it is unfair to make him pay. Romanov also notes that he was never informed that he would not be paid lost time for his attendance at the TNG Sector Conference and CWA Convention and he would like to receive lost time.

Amy Lampkin moves, Gabe Gonzalez seconds not to charge 2017 CWA convention and TNG conference delegates for lodging expenses, temporarily suspending the local’s policy for this one instance only, but the Local will not reimburse for lost time. PASSED VOICE VOTE, MIKHAIL ROMANOV ABSTAINS.

The council discusses correspondence from the American Lung Association, the Democratic Socialists of America, and the Jobs with Justice I’ll Be There Awards.

The council entertains discussion regarding opening up the Guild’s meetings for members to participate over the phone or in some other form remotely.

III. Administrative Officer’s and Staff Reports

The reports were discussed at the preceding general membership meeting.

IV. Membership Report

The membership report was discussed at the preceding general membership meeting.

V. May 16, 2017 and July 19, 2017 Executive Council Minutes and Board Polls

The local entertains limited discussion regarding the composition of the executive council.

Amy Lampkin requests summaries of the executive council minutes before they approved. Sheila Lindsay notes Elise Bryant is no longer a member of the executive council.

Mikhail Romanov moves, Mark Gruenberg seconds to approve the NC State AFL-CIO Convention board poll. PASSED VOICE VOTE, AMY LAMPKIN ABSTAINS.

Mikhail Romanov moves, Chris Stergalas seconds to approve the I’ll Be There Awards board poll. PASSED VOICE VOTE, AMY LAMPKIN AND MARK GRUENBERG ABSTAIN.

Chris Stergalas moves, Amy Lampkin seconds to approve the Triangle Labor Council board poll. PASSED VOICE VOTE.

Amy Lampkin moves to adjourn. Sheila Lindsay announces the next executive council meeting will take place on October 17 at the local’s DC office at 7 pm. Sheila Lindsay adjourns the meeting at 12:54 PM.

July 19, 2017 – Executive Council Meeting

Minutes submitted by Secretary Mikhail Romanov (cwaromanov@gmail.com)

Present: Sheila Lindsay, Tim  Fitzgerald, Mikhail  Romanov, Mark  Pattison, Yvette  De La  Cruz, Gabe Gonzalez, Sam Nelson, Steve Cook, Jazmin Gargoum, Renata Mendoza, Mark Gruenberg,Cet Parks, Rick Ehrmann,Paul Reilly, and Bruce Jett.

Excused absences: Amy Lampkin, Chris Stergalas, Elise Bryant, Ben Cooper, Alan Troyan, Ben Cooper, and Matt  Losak.

Unexcused absences: Keith Barnes, Lauren Byers, Scott Dance, David DeJesus, Seth Dietz, Laura Francis, Ed Fortney, Fred Kunkle, Sam Nelson, Anthony Wilson, and Karma Zurkhang.

President Lindsay calls the meeting to order.

I. New Business

NC State 60th Annual Convention Call

Sheila Lindsay notes the convention call was discussed at a prior meeting of the Executive Council. Use of Guild Officia Email Address by the Local Units

The Executive Council entertained  limited general discussion of the CASA unit’s use of an email address that could be construed to be maintained by the local. Sheila Lindsay suggests tabling to another meeting to discuss what constitutes appropriate  email addresses to use. Mikhail Romanov suggests it would be prudent   to  migrate   away  from  any  ambiguous  email  addresses given  the  Department   of  Labor’s preliminary finding that an election complaint against the local on a similar issue had merit. Gabe Gonzalez recommends the Communications Committee should handle the issue. Renato Mendoza notes it may take some time for the unit to transition to a different  email. Cet Parks says the local will review the issue with legal counsel.

Renewal of Local’s subscription to Press Associates Union News Service

Sheila Lindsay explains the local’s subscription to Mark Gruenberg’s news service expired in March and is seeking a renewal at  the  increased  rate  of  $1,030 per year. Cet Parks explains  the  history  of the subscription.

Jazmin Gargoum moves, Tim Fitzgerald seconds to renew the subscription. Mark Pattison asks when the Budget Committee will meet for fiscal year 2018 and Tim Fitzgerald notes he was planning on starting the budgetary process in August. PASSES VOICE VOTE with the abstention of Mark Gruenberg.

Pride@Work Correspondence

Cet Parks explains the local’s receipt  of the thank you letter  included in the Executive Council meeting packet.

DC Jobs with Justice Partnership

Sam Nelson notes a minimum financial commitment of $250 per year will afford  the local a vote on the

Jobs with Justice steering committee.

Gabe Gonzalez moves, Jazmin Gargoum seconds to table the issue until the local determines  the amount of its historic contributions. PASSES VOICE VOTE.

Ballot Point Election Services

Sheila Lindsay notes Nancy Banks spoke with the usual vendor for mail ballots.Jazmin Gargoum requests the local retrieve a list of vendors recommended by the Department of Labor.

Union Musical at Arena Stage

Cet Parks suggests a committee handle the issue. Jazmin Gargoum volunteers to direct the matter. Seating. of Unit Delegates

Sheila Lindsay notes the Bylaws Committee raised an issue about whether a unit  retains an Executive Council delegate while the unit  chair serves as an officer  of the local. Mark Pattison suggests the unit nevertheless  has a right  to  representation on the  Executive Council. Tim Fitzgerald notes the Bylaws Committee is preparing a proposal for each unit to have a seat at the Executive Council regardless of the size of the unit, noting this could cause issues if a small unit is able to appoint a delegate despite enjoying representation through its unit chair if the unit chair serves as an officer of the local.

II. Old Business

Committees- Contract Committee

Mikhail Romanov suggests tabling the issue to the September General Membership Meeting.

III.  Minutes and Board Polls

Gabe Gonzalez moves, Sam Nelson seconds to approve the June 21, 2017 Executive Council minutes.

PASSES VOICE VOTE.

Mark Pattison moves, Renata Mendoza seconds to approve the June 22, 2017 Board Poll results. PASSES VOICE VOTE.

Mark Gruenberg moves, Mark Pattison seconds to approve the May 16, 2017 Board Poll results. PASSES VOICE VOTE.

IV.Adjournment

Sheila Lindsay moves, Mikhail Romanov seconds to adjourn. The meeting is adjourned at 10:10 pm.

June 21, 2017 – Executive Council Meeting

Meeting called to order by President Lindsay at 713 pm. Secretary Romanov was an excused absence, so Lindsay asked Vice President Lampkin to take minutes pending arrival of former Secretary Gruenberg, who arrived at 716.

Present: President Sheila Lindsay, Vice President Amy Lampkin, Treasurer Tim Fitzgerald, Council members Gabe Gonzalez, Sam Nelson, Chris Stergalas, Mark Gruenberg, Jazmin Gargoum, Steve Cook, Ed Fortney, Matt Losak, Seth Dietz, Renato Mendoza, Executive Director Cet Parks, Local Reps Rick Ehrmann, Paul Reilly, Freddie Kunkel (delayed).

Excused absence: Council members Mark Pattison, Secretary Mikhail Romanov.

Unexcused absence: Council members Keith Barnes, Yvette De La Cruz, David DeJesus, Laura Francis, Anthony Wilson, Lauren Byers, Ben Cooper, Scott Dance, Alan Troyan, Karma Zurkhang.

FINANCIALS:

Gruenberg moves, Gonzalez seconds approval of May 2017 financial report. PASSED VOICE VOTE.

Parks calls council’s attention to arbitrator’s bill re complaint vs CTW, a mixed decision.

NEW BUSINESS:

Parks explains per capita payments to NC AFL-CIO for number of members in new units there. Ehrmann notes that NC Fed President James Andrews is retiring, calls him “a legend” in the labor movement and said he “helped engineer” negotiations of a first contract for the NC fed staff with its board. Stergalas moves, Lampkin seconds buying 1/2-page ad in program honoring Andrews on his retirement for $250. PASSED VOICE VOTE.

OLD BUSINESS:

CONTRIBUTIONS: Packet includes CWA solicitations for contributions to two union-wide funded programs. Contributions are voluntary by locals though letters imply required payments. Contribution to pediatric AIDs fund not required and set aside. WBNG in past has support union-to-union fund, which aids foreign counterpart unions, because of WBNG members in Solidarity Center unit. Gruenberg moves, Gargoum seconds contributing $150 to union-to-union fund. PASSED VOICE VOTE.

CREATION OF VOLUNTEER COMMITTEES: Discussion ensued on creation of four committees of volunteers — Contracts, Communications & Education, Organizing and Human Rights — as Romanov proposed at previous meeting. Losak proposes adding a fifth, named the Select Committee on Elections. Gonzalez moves, Nelson seconds deferring discussion to July meeting when Romanov will be present to discuss his proposal. PASSED VOICE VOTE.

Fitzgerald suggests deferring discussion of Select Elections Committee till WBNG hears from Labor Department on pending elections complaint. Losak responds that delay is unnecessary since select committee “was to improve ways to do the election cycle.” General agreement, and call for volunteers. Gargoum, Nelson, Cook, Fitzgerald, Losak, Gonzalez, Mendoza volunteer.

REPORTS:

PARKS: Reports WBNG filed unfair labor practices charge vs UFCW management for harassment of remote members, bad-faith bargaining and unilateral changes in commuter payments. Also reports on bargaining at the Advancement Project, and arbitrations at UFCW. Reports, citing organizer Bruce Jett, that Baltimore City paper management agreed to card check recognition but immediately announced plans to shut the paper. Result is WBNG must undertake effects bargaining to handle the impact of the shutdown. Also cites Jett report on other organizing.

Parks reports that over protests by TNG, CWA is throwing the WBNG staff out of the CWA health insurance plan, effective end of the calendar year. Research being done on switching WBNG staff to AFLCIO plan.

EHRMANN: Reports on mobilization and bargaining at Washington Post. “Lively and successful recruitment campaign” is occurring. Kunkel, taking over Post report (as unit chair) says owner Bezos “is trying to create an organization like Politico, demanding “lots of content” from reporters “on a hamster wheel.” Also says that “longetivity is not an aim” of Post management. Discusses overly vague social media policy Post is imposing, where people could be unilaterally fired for anything they say on their own private accounts. Gonzalez moves, Lampkin and many others second motion to “grant discretionary authority to bargain” over Post social media policy. PASSED VOICE VOTE.

REILLY: Citing Reilly report, Lampkin moves, Gonzalez seconds approval of 3-year 3% yearly RAINN contract.

PASSED VOICE VOTE.

Stergalas moves, Losak and Fitzgerald second approval of The American Prospect bargaining team: Justin Miller, Amanda Teuscher, Sam Ross-Brown, Manuel Madrid and Reilly. PASSED VOICE VOTE.

Mendoza, taking over Casa de Maryland section, reports unit seeking 1-year contract extension as “Casa is rethinking its structure.” Reilly says CTW unit decided not to appeal NLRB regional director’s decision for CTW and against WBNG.

MEMBERSHIP REPORT: Gonzalez moves, Stergalas seconds approval of May 17-June 21 membership report. No changes. PASSED VOICE VOTE.

MINUTES: Gruenberg moves, several second approval of May 16 minutes. Several members point out that the discussion of the potential expulsion of member Matt Losak and his defense is extremely extensive and expressed a preference that it be edited. Council decides to defer approval of minutes until Secretary Romanov has a chance to edit the section down, with acting Secretary Gruenberg to call and explain what happened. (Call made several days later).

Gruenberg moves, Gargoum seconds approval of board poll buying 1/4-page ad for Pride@Work Celebrating Solidarity Event for $325. Stergalas notes P@W voluntarily upgraded it for us to a full page without changing the price. PASSED VOICE VOTE.

NEXT MEETING: JULY 19, WBNG DC OFFICE, 7 PM, PIGGYBACKING ON GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING.

ADJOURNMENT: Stergalas moves, Losak seconds move to adjourn. PASSED VOICE VOTE.

Regular meeting adjourned circa 9 pm.

An executive session was held.

May 22, 2017 Executive Council Meeting

The WBNG Executive Council met in special session May 22 to discuss options in response to a Department of Labor investigation into the complaint over the local’s election in January.