February 19, 2020 EC Meeting


Executive Council Meeting Minutes

Present: Steve Cook, Elise Bryant, Justin Moyer, Joel Gratz, Fatima Hussein, Katie Mettler, Ed Fortney, Tim Fitzgerald, Jazmin Gargoum, Bill O’Meara, Mark Pattison, Sybil Edwards (in place of Lydia Ealey), Don Griesheimer, Lillyanne Daigle, Tom Jackman, Freddy Kunkle, Marissa Lang, Vivian Lo (in place of Karma Zurkhang)

Staff:  Cet Parks, Rick Ehrmann,

Guest: Lori Richards, UFCW.

Excused: David DeJesus, Sam Nelson, Bryan Nelson, Jeremy Sprinkle

Absent: Hau Chu, Michelle Wang, Mark Gruenberg, Tamara McCalla, Scott Dance, Scott Reynolds, Rob Lever, Hassan Kanu, Ben Cooper, Gabriela Roque, Carl Charles

I.  Minutes:  Griesheimer moved, Lang seconded approving the minutes of the Jan. 29 meeting. Motion carried.

II.  Membership report:  Griesheimer moved, Gargoum seconded, approving the February membership report. Motion carried.

III.  Executive Director’s Report & Staff

  • Alan Troyan grievance: Pattison moved, Griesheimer seconded granting discretionary authority to arbitrate the Alan Troyan out-of-classification grievance at UFCW. Moyer offered a friendly amendment, rejected by the maker of the motion, to prepare a feasibility study on the local’s hiring of a staff attorney to handle legal matters.  The original motion carried on roll-call vote, 11-3.
  • Moyer issued a quorum-call demand. Quorum continued to be met.
  • Arbitration matters: Discussion continued on developing a better process to inform Executive Council members on arbitration requests. Mettler asked whether some kind of form could be supplied to the Executive Council for inclusion in the meeting packet.  Gargoum suggested having the grievant appear if possible, or to make use of technology to the grievant could make his/her case. 
  • Both Hussein and Mettler suggested finding ways to shame the employer into settling before arbitration, which would require building internal organizing capacity.  Cook asked for input from the local’s steward and organizing committees. 
  • Hussein volunteered to consult BIG attorneys in drafting a readable document to print.  This item will appear on the March Executive Council agenda.
  • Jessica Rinehart grievance:  Bryant moved, Pattison seconded granting discretionary authority in the Jessica Rinehart written admonishment grievance at UFCW.  Motion carried on a roll-call vote, 9-5, with one abstention.
  • Shristi Singh grievance:  Singh, of Ana, wants to appeal her unit’s rejection of her grievance to the Executive Council.  Griesheimer moved, Bryant seconded appealing the unit’s decision not to pursue the grievance further.  In lieu of a friendly amendment offering to defer the matter to the March Executive Council meeting, Griesheimer withdrew his motion.

IV.  Financials 

  • Pattison moved, Gargoum seconded approving the December financial report. Motion carried.
  • Budget projection:  The budget projection was reviewed and discussed. Cook asked that any Executive Council member who is interested in doing so to come back in March with specific proposals.

V.  Old Business

  • Front Page Awards:  The awards committee will email the Executive Council with thoughts on the awards.  Before the meeting came to order, an idea floated by committee members to have WBNG member-authors have their books available for purchase and autographing do so at the ceremony.
  • NOVA AFL-CIO “Tribute to Labor” dinner:  Bryant moved, Pattison seconded buying two tickets to the dinner, with the tickets to be used by BIG members with instructions to “work the room.”  Motion carried with one audible dissent.
  • Labor Notes Conference:  Pattison moved, Gargoum seconded giving discretionary authority to the executive director to identify up to four WNBG members to attend the Labor Notes conference April 17-19 in Chicago and to cover travel, lodging and per diem, and for four others to attend the conference as commuters.  Griesheimer offered a friendly amendment, approved by the maker and seconder, for the funds to be allocated from the J. Darlene Meyer Education Fund.  Motion carried.
  • TNG New Local officers Seminar:  Pattison moved, Gargoum seconded, sending two WBNG delegates to attend the scheduled March 6-9 TNG New Local Officers Seminar on a residential basis, and up to six others as commuters, with the funds allocated from the J. Darlene Meyer Education Fund. Motion carried.

VI.  New Business

  • D.C. LaborFest:  Pattison moved, Griesheimer seconded, buying a quarter-page ad for $250 in the D.C. LaborFest program.  Motion carried with one audible dissent. 
  • Events — films, music, books, the arts — are held during May. There was sentiment to organize WBNG trips to at least one LaborFest event.

VII.  Good & Welfare

  • CWA steward training:  Bryant reported CWA has new steward training booklets with PowerPoint slides, and will bring it to the stewards committee for workshops.

VIII.  Personell Caucus – None

IX.  Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned.


Respectfully submitted,

Mark Pattison (CNS)

Washington-Baltimore News Guild

January 29, 2020 EC Meeting

Washington-Baltimore News Guild

Executive Council Meeting Minutes

Date of Meeting: January 29, 2019

Present:  Elise Bryant, Hau Chu, Steve Cook, David DeJesus, Tim Fitzgerald, Dan Gabor, Jazmin Gargoum, Joel Gratz, Don Griesheimer, Fatima Hussein, Tom Jackman, Freddy Kunkle, Marissa Lang, Katie Mettler, Justin Moyer, Sam Nelson, Bill O’Meara, Mark Pattison, Jeremy Sprinkle, Michelle Wang

Excused:  Ben Cooper, Lillyanne Daigle

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

Meeting called to order at 8:21 PM

I.  Minutes

  • November 20, 2019 – Don Griesheimer motioned to approve, and motion was seconded. Motion passed.
  • December 7, 2019 – No action required.
  • Board Polls – December 11, 2019 (2020 Membership Meeting & EC Schedule) – Don Griesheimer motioned to approve, and motion was seconded. Motion Passed.
  • Board Poll – October 21, 2019 – Discretionary authority to send one member to MD & DC AFL-CIO 32nd Biennial Convention. The event had expired by EC January meeting.  No further action required. 

II.  Membership Report

  • November 20, 2019-January 29, 2020. Mark Pattison motioned to approve, and motion was seconded.  Motion Passed.

III.  Executive Director’s Report & Staff

Cet Parks

Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Staff Union

  • Tentative agreement reached on January 24, 2020 and unit ratified the contract. Unit requests EC approval of contract.  Don Griesheimer motioned to approve contract, and motion was seconded.  Motion passed. 

Alliance of Health Care Unions

  • Agreement reached on initial 18-month contract and ratification my members, retroactive from August 1, 2019 – December 31, 2020. Unit requests EC approval of contract.  Sam Nelson motioned to approve, and motion was seconded.  Motion Passed.

Florida AFL-CIO

  • Agreement reached and ratified by members on three-year contract from December 31, 2019 through January 1, 2023. Unit requests EC approval of contract.  Don Griesheimer motioned to approve contract, and motion was seconded.  Motion Passed.

Advancement Project

  • Arbitrator ruled on exclusion grievance and upheld Guild’s argument. No further action required.

Rick Ehrmann


  • Update by Jeremy Sprinkle. Tentative contract agreement and member ratification reached on December 2, 2019.  Request EC approval of contract.  Sam Nelson motioned for approval of CBA, and motion was seconded.  Motion Passed.

Center for Public Integrity

  • Agreement reached on all issues in December 2019. Management meeting with management is scheduled on February 7, 2020 to review latest version of draft contract.  No further action taken.

National Abortion Federation/Hotline

  • First union contract was reached on December 7, 2019. Request EC approval of CBA.  Hau Chu motioned for contract approval, and motion was seconded.  Motion Passed.

Center for Popular Democracy

  • General update – unit is in bargaining.

Washington Post

  • General update – Post unit approaching bargaining at highest membership in many years.


  • Srishti Singh Arbitration – Update given by Don Griesheimer on grievance issues, arbitration discussion and appeals process.

Paul Reilly

Charlottesville Daily Progress

  • Request for retroactive approval of bargaining team: Katherine Knott, Allison Wrable, Meghin Moore, Hannah Cox, Tyler Hammel, John Abbott, Nolan Stout.  Mark Pattison motioned for approval and motion was seconded.  Motion Passed.
  • FPSU (Florida SEIU Local) – Not able to complete original contract at January session. No further action taken.


  • Update by Mark Pattison. Retroactive approval requested for one-year contract extension.  Mark Pattison motions to approve and motion was seconded.  Motion Passed.

American Prospect

  • Agreement reached on one-year contract retroactive to November 1, 2019. Don Griesheimer motioned to approve, and motion was seconded.  Motion Passed.
  • Jobs with Justice – Agreement reached on contract wage re-opener. Don Griesheimer motioned to approve, and motion was seconded.  Motion Passed.

Eric Geist

  • Bargaining underway for Rewire.News, The Chesapeake Guild/Tidewater Guild/Tribune Joint Bargaining, League of Conservation Voters. No action items.

Bruce Jett

  • Update on Southern Poverty Law Center, United for Respect, Lambda Legal, Political Research Associates, Alliance for Justice, Indivisible, and Color of Change. No action items.

IV.  Financials

November 30, 2019 (Projections ending Dec. 31, 2019 & Summary)

  • Cet Parks provided update on income and expenses beginning with October 2019. Requested approval for October 2019 financials.  Tom Jackman motioned to approve, and motion was seconded.  Motion Passed.
  • Cet Parks provided update on November 2019 expenses and discussed key areas affecting net deficit income (membership dues, CWA Per Caps, salaries, insurance, SEP field, consulting fees, legal fees, arbitration fees). Hau Chu motioned to approve November 2019 financials, and the motion was seconded.  Motion Passed.
  • Discussions on preparing a draft budget for EC review (Joel Gratz and Justin Moyer).

Bob Paul’s Invoices for November and December 2019

  • Discussions on analyzing budget spend/where money is being spent to compare costs to time and projects; ability to generate reports. Cet to follow up on best ways to address these concerns.  No further action required.

V.  Old Business

RFA Nadia Usaeva Termination

  • Cet Parks, Michelle Wang (RFA) and Steve Cook discussed issues and concerns regarding this case. Agreed in principle to follow up on issues in the following month – Steve Cook requests that Michelle Wang send a follow up email for further discussion.
  • Labor Notes Conference – April 17-19, 2020. Since early bird registration deadline is February 28, 2020, discussions to participate were deferred to February 19, 2020 EC meeting.
  • Katie Mettler discusses having a complete list of opportunities for EC and members versus approving single events in order to make better decisions for participation. Action item – send email to Steve, Cet and Bruce to list future conferences and training.

VI.  New Business

Oneonta Daily Star

  • Discussion on whether WBNG should take on organizing this small local which is outside of our geographical area. We have the capacity to organize them but lack the resources to do so.  Decision to elevate this issue to John Schleuss (TNG) for further discussion and resolution.

Washington Post – Event Request

  • Justin Moyer requests budget approval to host three events this year at the Mindspace location (Washington Post HQ): Front Page Awards, a Washington Post pre-bargaining event, and Washington Post post-bargaining event.
  • After further discussion Justin Moyer motioned for approval to allocate $1,800 to MindSpace for the hosting of three events on behalf of WBNG, and the motion was seconded. Motion Passed.   
  • Justin Moyer motioned to allocate $700 to The Washington Post unit for a pre-bargaining rally event (first event), and the motion was seconded. After further discussion the Motion Passed.

Evening with Labor – Saturday, April 4, 2020 

  • Mark Pattison motioned to purchase two tickets at $150 per ticket, and a $50 business card ad, and the motion was seconded. Motion Passed.

2020 CWA Human Rights Conference – July 26-29, 2020

  • Tim Fitzgerald motioned to send Dave DeJesus (Chair, Human Rights Committee) to CWA Human Rights Conference in Phoenix Arizona. Since there were no details on conference costs, this item was deferred for future discussion.  Motion was withdrawn.

Front Page Awards

  • Jazmin Gargoum motioned to have Front Page Awards held on April 30, 2020, and motion was seconded. It was determined that a motion was not necessary to select this date, and motion was withdrawn.

Revising WBNG Logo

  • Steve Cook discusses revising the Local’s logo and creation of a design committee to develop logo. Steve Cook motioned to set up a design committee and act as provisional chair of the committee, and the motion was seconded.  Motion Passed.

VII.  Good & Welfare

  • No action items.

VIII.  Personnel Caucus

  • No action items.

IX.  Adjournment

  • Meeting adjourned at 9:48 PM.

December 7, 2019 General Membership Minutes


Minutes of General Membership Meeting

December 7, 2019


Steve Cook (Bloomberg Industries Group) president, presiding.

There was insufficient attendance at the meeting for a quorum.

President’s report: Cook said he is focusing on monopoly issues in his work as Region 2 vice president on TNG’s Sector Executive Council, principally the Gannett-Gatehouse merger and Alden Global Capital’s becoming the single largest stockholder of Tribune Co.

2020 meeting schedule: Meeting dates for the year were discussed. A draft was distributed. After discussion, Cook said he would tweak the dates and submit them as an Executive Council board poll.

Permanent filling of Executive Council vacancy: With no quorum, no nominations (or vote, if needed) to permanently fill the Executive Council at-large delegate vacancy could be conducted. It was deferred to the January membership meeting.

North Carolina AFL-CIO: The unit signed a three-year contract with management, calling for raises of 7.4% in 0220, 3% in 2021 and 2% in 2022. There is also an additional paid holiday, update job descriptions. A management staff review process was OKd in the contract, but management cannot use it for discipline.

Southern Poverty Law Center: Management gave the Guild 24 legal fellows positions in the bargaining unit, bringing the number to 240-plus. Representation ballots were to be counted Dec. 16.

Good and Welfare: Jazmin Gargoum (at-large) brought up continuing issues about not meeting quorum at the Executive Council, with no incentive for attending — or sanction for unexcused absences.

Cook said a Working America member asked if the local has a Christmas party. The answer has been no, and there’s no budget assigned to it. The New York local has one, and posted pictures of it.

There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Mark Pattison (Catholic News Service)

Washington-Baltimore News Guild

December 7, 2109 EC Minutes


Minutes of Executive Council Meeting

DECEMBER 7, 2019


Present: Steve Cook (Bloomberg Industries Group), president; Elise Bryant (at-large), vice president; Justin Moyer (Washington Post), treasurer; at-large delegates: Joel Gratz (AFL-CIO), Katie Mettler (Post); Washington Post: Marissa Lang; Small Units and Members: Tim Fitzgerald (American Postal Workers Union), Mark Gruenberg (at-large); Mark Pattison (Catholic News Service); Jeremy Sprinkle (North Carolina AFL-CIO).

Excused: David DeJesus (Post).

Absent: AFL-CIO: Dan Gabor; Agence France-Presse: Rob Lever; American Nurses Association: Don Griesheimer; Baltimore Sun: Scott Dance; Bloomberg Industries Group: Ben Cooper, Hassan Kanu; Radio Free Asia: Karma Zurkhang; United Food and Commercial Workers: Lydia Ealey; Washington Post: Tom Jackman, Fred Kunkle; at-large delegates: Hau Chu (Post), Fatima Hussein (BIG), Michelle Wang (Radio Free Asia); Small Units and Members: Lillyanne Daigle (E-L & Associates), Ed Fortney (SEIU 500), Tamara McCalla (HPAE), Bryan Nelson (HPAE), Sam Nelson (Jobs With Justice), Bill O’Meara (at-large), Ben Solowey (Foreign Policy).

  • There was no quorum.
  • All items and potential agenda items were covered during the general membership meeting which immediately preceded the Executive Council meeting.
  • Cook adjourned the meeting.

Respectfully submitted,

Mark Pattison (Catholic News Service)

Washington Baltimore News Guild


November 20, 2019 EC Meeting

Washington-Baltimore News Guild

Executive Council Meeting Minutes

Date of Meeting: November 20, 2019

Present:  Elise Bryant, Hau Chu, Lillyanne Daigle, David DeJesus, Tim Fitzgerald, Dan Gabor, Joel Gratz, Don Griesheimer, Mark Gruenberg, Fatima Hussein, Tom Jackman, Robert Lever, Tamara McCalla, Katie Mettler, Justin Moyer, Sam Nelson, Bryan Nelson, Bill O’Meara, Mark Pattison, Jeremy Sprinkle

Excused:  Steve Cook, Eric Geist, Bruce Jett

Staff:  Rick Ehrmann, Cet Parks, Paul Reilly

I. Minutes

  • October 16, 2019 – Mark Pattison motioned to approve with amendments, and motion was seconded.  Motion passed.
  • Board Polls – At Large Vacancy and MD & DC AFL-CIO 32nd Biennial Convention – Mark Pattison motioned to approve; however, corrections were needed for both polls.  Motion to approve was withdrawn and polls were deferred until the next meeting.

II. Membership Report (No Aptify Stats)

  • Mark Gruenberg motioned to approve, and motion was seconded.  Motion passed.

III. Executive Director’s Report & Staff (Nov. 19)

Cet Parks

  • UFCW – Unit leadership requested approval of bargaining committee consisting of Unit Chair Lydia Ealey, Lori Richards, Evan Yeats, Sibyl Edwards, Sara Gann, Abe Silk, Alan Troyan and Chris Johansson.  Sam Nelson motioned to approve, and motion was seconded.  Motion passed.

Rick Ehrmann

  • No action items.

Paul Reilly

  • AFP – Tentative agreement reached on contact and EC approval was requested. Sam Nelson motioned to approve, and motion was seconded.  Motion passed.

Eric Geist

  • No action items.

Bruce Jett

  • No action items

IV. Financials

  • Summary of Financial Highlights – September 19 – Cet Parks gave an update on September financials.  Dave DeJesus motioned to approve September financials, and motion was seconded.  Motion passed.
  • Bob Paul and Herbert Fishgold Invoice for Oct. 19 – Discussed – No action items.
  • Michael Wolf Invoice for July 23, 2019 – Discussed – No action items.
  • Gail R. Smith, Esq. Invoice for October 19, 2019 – Discussed – No action items.
  • SEIU Local 500 Invoice – Discussed – No action items.

V. Old Business

  • Human Rights Committee Report – Dave DeJesus provided update and noted the need for a more balanced committee (need additional women recruits on the committee).  Next committee meeting scheduled for December.
  • Organizing Committee Repot – Fatima Hussein provided update on committee actions (mentoring program for various unit members, interaction with new units and EC
  • Bylaws Committee Report – Sam Nelson provided progress update and projects to have a completion date in December and present to EC in January.
  • Presidents Report – President Steve Cook was not available to review.  Report presented by Vice President Elise Bryant.  Of major concern is the merger between the Gatehouse and Gannett newspaper chains.  There were no action items.
  • VP Report/Coalition of Labor Union Women – Elise Bryant provided update on her involvement with the Coalition of Labor Union Women convention in Las Vegas, NV – noting that the conference and its workshops were a huge success.
  • JWJ Education Fund – Sam Nelson speaks to JWJ national conference in March 13 & 14, 2020 in Atlanta, GA.

VI. New Business

  • Labor Notes Conference – Discussed sending delegates.  Conference will be held in Chicago, April 17-19, 2020.  Early bird deadline is February 28, 2020.  Discussed additional training opportunities for members that could be funded by Darlene Meyer Fund.  Further discussion emphasized training priority given to members who have never been trained.  Agreed to revisit discussion at next meeting.
  • TNG Election – Katie Mettler discusses importance of upcoming election and unit chairs reminding members to vote, and/or using action network. 
  • Cet Parks speaks to inquiries from Scott Edmonson (SERC) regarding Post and AFL email lists in regard to elections rules.
  • Dan Gabor speaks to Action Network workshop in December 4, 2019 from 1-5 PM.  Dan to send further communication regarding.
  • Gift Card Program – Katie Mettler (Washington Post) proposed opting out the Local’s gift card program for the Washington Post and BNA units beginning January 1, 2020, due to the expense of the program to the local.  The gift card program provides a $50 incentive to a unit’s employees who join the guild.  Katie proposes instead to set aside budget for tee shirts to replace the program.
  • Maine AFL-CIO Affiliation Form – Cet Parks speaks to the issue of members in different states who request their per capita to go to where they are located, the local would abide by that request.  A request was made by a member in Maine to redirect per capita to Maine AFL-CIO instead of MD/DC AFL-CIO.  No action necessary.
  • Bloomberg BNA Holiday Party – Fatima Hussein motioned for consideration of funding for up to $1,000 for a organizing/holiday event to be used as platform to rebuild the Bloomberg Industry Group.  Motion was seconded.
  • Joel Gratz questioned if there was sufficient budget to fund the event which was answered in the affirmative.  After additional questions and discussion, the motion passed.
  • Front Page Awards – Katie Mettler proposed to start planning next year’s Front Page Awards program in order to get the program back on schedule by establishing a timeline by early 2020.

VII. Good & Welfare

  • Elise Bryant (VP) updates EC on DC Labor Chorus Annual Evening of Songs free concert at Wesley United Methodist Church on Dec. 7, 2019.
  • Minority Leadership Initiative – EC should look at this as a training opportunity to attend every year.

VIII. Personnel Caucus

  • No action items.

IX. Adjournment

  • Motioned to adjourn and motion was seconded.  Meeting adjourned at 8:50 PM.