August 22, 2018 – Executive Council Meeting Minutes

Board Members Present:  Steve Cook, Dan Gabor, David DeJesus, Seth Dietz, Tim Fitzgerald, Jazmin Gargoum, Mark Gruenberg, Sheila Lindsay, Justin Moyer, Mark Pattison, Robert Struckman

Staff and Guests Present:  Cet Parks, Paul Reilly, Joel Gratz, Amy Lambrecht, Joe Moyer

Excused:  Benn Cooper, Lydia Ealey, Gabe Gonzalez, Freddy Kunkle, Matt Losak, Sam Nelson, Jeremy Sprinkle, Ramon Zepeda

Meeting called to order at 7:20 PM.  A quorum was not met, and meeting proceeded with discussion on items that did not require a vote.

I. Financials

July 2018

  • Tim Fitzgerald and Cet Parks provide update on July financials.

July 2018 (Bob Paul’s Invoices)

  • General discussion. Paul Reilly provides update on legal issues regarding Mikhail Romanov. 
  • Discussion on Bob Paul legal fees regarding AFL-CIO contract dispute/Struckman from two months ago, and on the July 2018 financial statement. Additional EC members inquired on the nature of the issue and expressed concerns.   
  • Dan Gabor (AFL-CIO unit chair) points out that discussions of this nature are not appropriate for a public meeting forum, and better served in a private meeting.

II. New Business


  • Cet Park discusses use segregated funds by unions as background on request by AFT-NEROP request to setup a special fund for union purposes (emergency needs and union resources).  Joe Moyer from AFT-NEROP presented additional details on issue.
  • Mark Pattison suggests that AFT-NEROP submit a written proposal to EC for consideration.
  • Cet Parks discusses vetting through Bob Paul for additional guidance, and that this request would need a vote at the September General Membership meeting. Additional discussion and concerns were expressed.

2018 Election

  • Cet Parks on behalf of Bob Struckman discusses use of an agency (FMCS or AAA) to run the upcoming elections (January 2019) rather than having the local conduct the elections and would be in best interest of the local.
  • Jazmin Gargoum discusses that there was an understanding that the local would take a look at issues from last election as a learning opportunity in being able to run its own elections. Additional concerns regarding cost for outside agency when those funds can be used to train our local to properly run elections.
  • Steve Cook in agreement and states we need to examine the process and that preparations should begin immediately.
  • Mark Gruenberg states that a committee should have been working on this and questions if this fell by the wayside. Also requested that President Struckman the election sub-committee should be doing.
  • Dave DeJesus asks what the impact of the agency to the local’s financials and will there be a proposal of agency services to review.
  • President Struckman discusses need to use neutral third party; has requested costs from FMCS and AAA and discusses costs could be in range of $4,000 – $5,000.

III. Old Business

Front Page Awards

  • Mark Gruenberg provides status update and will assess how many entries we have.
  • Sheila Lindsay suggests implementing a Front Page video or virtual awards program over social media platforms, to avoid going into a third year without a program (as double award ceremony). Sheila also suggests using past winners to serve on a committee or as competition judges.
  • Paul Reilly also points out main reason to hold the award program is organizing and mobilizing. Paul agreed to serve as lead assisting Mark Gruenberg. 


VA State AFL-CIO Convention

  • Dan Duncan served as our delegate. Detailed report in August 22, 2018 EC packet (page 10)

            Update on WBNG – Review by Auditors

  • There was no discussion or review of this item.

            Accountability of Officers

  • Mark Pattison makes suggestion to never placing this item in future agenda packets. Further discussion and was mutually agreed upon by EC members present.

            Credit Card Policy Counters

  • Steve Cook provides update on staff request for changes to policy. A major issue brought forward is that staff representatives are using their personal credit cards, having the effect of staff making loans to the Local. 
  • Remedy is proposing to have a total of four credit cards, instead of two which are held by Cet Parks and bookkeeper.
  • Also discussed issue on number of participants involved in a meeting, five or fewer versus ten or fewer.
  • Joel Gratz expressed concerns that policy language on number of cards may potentially create issues. Additional discussions to adopt credit card policy to be discussed at next EC meeting, due to lack of quorum at August 22 EC meeting.

            CWA 2018 District 2-13 Local Leadership Conference

  • Mark Pattison requests this item be dropped from future agendas due to timing issues (Multi-District Council Meeting, November membership meeting/nominations for 2019 election).


            T-Shirts and Other Items for Organizing

  • Steve Cook provides update on purchasing t-shirts for BNA and other units. May need 300 shirts for BBNA, possibly more if we distribute to others.  Jazmin Gargoum will provide costs of t-shirts.
  • Agreed to advance this item by a board poll.

IV. Executive Director’s Report & Staff

Cet Parks

  • Cet Parks provides update. Details in August 22, 2018 EC packet

            Rick Ehrmann (on vacation)

  • ANA issues discussed by Sheila Lindsay
  • Board Poll request for ANA contract approval
  • Board Poll request for ANA arbitration for unfair termination

            Paul Reilly

  • Board Poll request for Raw Story contract approval
  • Board Poll request for CASA contract approval
  • Board Poll request for BBNA ULP

            Eric Geist

  • Board Poll request United Way Worldwide contract approval
  • Board Poll request for Revolution Messaging for ULP

      Bruce Jett

  • Cet Parks provides update. Details in August 22, 2018 EC packet

V. Membership Report

  • EC approval postponed until next EC meeting

VI. EC Minutes

July 18, 2018

  • EC approval postponed until next EC meeting

July 23, 2018 Board Poll

  • EC approval postponed until next EC meeting

VII. Good and Welfare

Presiding at Meetings

  • Mark Pattison expressed concerns regarding how the July 2018 EC meeting was conducted and recommends that the highest ranking WBNG member present on-site at a meeting, should be responsible for running the meeting.
  • Mark recommends a change to our bylaws to address meeting concerns.
  • Steve Cook and others also agreed that we should adopt his practice as a common-sense approach to conducting meetings.
  • Jazmin Gargoum expressed concern of President Struckman’s recommendation to cancel the August 22, 2018 meeting, and recommends sending out a poll to schedule meeting dates immediately following each EC meeting, with the goal of encouraging member participation. Additional discussion followed on setting EC meeting dates in advance.
  • Discussion on setting meeting dates
  • Suggestion made to host a happy hour for Dan Gabor while visiting DC September 12-13.

VIII. Adjournment

  • Meeting adjourns at 9:38 PM.


Addendum to Minutes

Outstanding Issues from August 22, 2018 Executive Council Meeting due to lack of quorum (compiled by Mark Pattison).

Fellow Executive Council members,

In order to complete the work begun at yesterday’s Executive Council meeting, we will need to conduct a number of board polls.  Page numbers in parentheses refer to their location in the Executive Council packet distributed Tuesday.

AFT-NEROP segregated fund request, pending submission of text (no page)

T-shirt purchase, pending submission of text (no page)

September Executive Council meeting date, time, site (no page) – Poll Completed

ANA contract approval (page 24) – Poll Completed

Discretionary authority for arbitration in ANA termination case (page 25) – Poll Completed

Raw Story contract approval (page 26) – Poll Completed

Casa de Maryland contract approval (page 26)

Discretionary authority for ULP in BBNA failure to provide requested information in discharge case (page 26)

United Way Worldwide contract approval (page 27)

Discretionary authority for ULP in Revolution Messaging failure to provide bargaining information case (page 27)

Of secondary urgency, but will have to be dealt with either via board poll or through action at the next Executive Council meeting:

July financials (page 1)

Membership report (page 29)

July Executive council minutes (page 34)

The board poll (page 38) confirmation cannot be confirmed via board poll.

In solidarity,

Mark Pattison

July 18, 2018 – Executive Council Meeting Minutes

Present:  Jazmin Gargoum, Sam Nelson, Tim Fitzgerald, Cet Parks, David DeJesus, Elise Bryant, Justin Moyer, Amy Fitzgerald, Joel Gratz, Mark Pattison, Paul Reilly, Mark Gruenberg, Jeremy Sprinkle, Steve Cook, Sheila Lindsay, Matt Losak, Seth Dietz

Excused:  Bob Struckman, Ed Fortney, Gabe Gonzales

Meeting called to order at 7:13 PM.  A quorum was met – 13 EC members present

I. Financials

May 2018

  • Cet Park and Tim Fitzgerald provide update on May financials. Mark Pattison motions to approve, Steve Cook seconds.  Motion passes.

June 2018

  • Cet Park and Tim Fitzgerald provide update on June financials. Mark Pattison motions, Jazmin Gargoum seconds.  Motion passes.

Bob Paul Invoices (May & June)

  • Cet provides update on Bob Paul invoices.

II. New Business

Press Associates Renewal

  • Cet Parks discusses Press Associates renewal and request EC approval. Mark Gruenberg provided additional input on importance of Press Associates.  Matt Losak motions to approve payment to renew.  Sheila Lindsay seconds.  Mark Gruenberg and Jeremy Sprinkle abstain.  Motion Passes.

Don Slaiman – IBEW Representative

  • Requests resolution to send representative from local to attend AFL-CIO convention in Virginia, on August 9 through August 11, in support of right to work initiatives.
  • Mark Pattison/Sheila Lindsay and others discuss finding a local member delegate by board poll, and to authorize that person to be a delegate (possibly Dan Duncan) representing the local at the Virginia AFL-CIO conference.
  • Jazmin Gargoum to develop language to be used in a board poll. Sheila Lindsay agreed to reach out to Dan Duncan in regard to delegate request.

III. Old Business

Update on WBNG – Review by Auditors, Accountability of Officers, Committees & EC

  • Matt Losak requests (on behalf of Robert Struckman) any discussion accountability be deferred until Robert Struckman returns or EC next meeting.
  • Tim Fitzgerald speaks to audit update, that auditor list of services to be performed by audit firm is not in accordance with the motion that was passed by the membership, and payment of services will not be made without authorization.
  • After additional discussion Elise Bryant requests to defer the issue until Robert Struckman is present to contribute. Justin Moyer moves to defer issue to next meeting.  Sheila Lindsay seconds.
  • On accountability of officers, Justin Moyer motions to defer discussion until next meeting. Sam Nelson seconds. Tim Fitzgerald opposes.  Motion passes.          

New Program/CWA to Raise Money for Campuses

  • Sheila Lindsay, Jeremy Sprinkle and others discuss Committee on Political Education (COPE) program. Matt Losak motions to participate in program.  Jeremy Sprinkle seconds.  Motion passes.

Studies on Pay Disparities

  • Sheila Lindsay discusses and agrees to gather additional pay disparity information and report findings at next EC meeting. Steve Cook motions to have Robert Struckman follow up with TNG/CWA leadership for a pay disparity study at BNA to be used as a part of contract bargaining.  Matt Pattison seconds.  Motion passes.

PA AFL-CIO Cope Invitees

  • This item was declined in May and erroneously placed on agenda.

WBNG Labor Day Picnic(s)

  • Mark Pattison, Tim Fitzgerald, Sheila Lindsay, Matt Losak and others discuss how to better promote the Labor Day Picnic and Labor Night Out without overburdening staff. Jazmin and Elise agree to further discuss Labor Night Out. 
  • Sheila Lindsay suggest joining in with the Greenbelt Labor Day event and agrees to reach out to CLC – Greenbelt Labor Day Program participation and report back to Rick Ehrmann.

NC State AFL-CIO – Support for 2018 United Way

  • Jeremy Sprinkle and Sheila Lindsay discuss. Issue was on June EC Meeting agenda to make a contribution and report back this month on donation history and deferred to this meeting.
  • Issue is dropped, and no further discussion needed.

CWA 2018 District 2-13 Local Leadership Conference

  • Elise and others discuss participation in leadership conference.
  • Justin Moyer motions to table discussion until next meeting. Jazmin Gargoum seconds.  Motion passes.

Credit Card Policy Counters

  • This item was mistakenly added to this meeting agenda and will be deferred until next meeting.

T-Shirts and Other Items for Organizing

  • Steve Cook, Rick Ehrmann, Jeremy Sprinkle, Matt Losak and others discuss need to promote t-shits as organizing tool. Justin Moyer motions to defer discussion to address the needs of second largest unit (BNA) as it approaches bargaining.  Mark Pattison seconds.  Motion passes.

IV. Executive Director’s Report & Staff

Cet Parks

  • Advancement Project – Cet Parks – requests discretionary authority to file ULP for union discrimination regarding employee termination (Angelo Pinto). Justin motions to grant discretionary authority.  Matt Losak seconds.  Motion passes.
  • Lambda Legal – Cet Parks – requests discretionary authority to file a ULP should Lamda Legal implement an unlawful steward evaluation, which is subject to bargaining. Sheila Lindsay motions.  Seth Dietz seconds.  Motion passes.
  • AFL-CIO – Cet Parks – Requests EC approval of contract ratification. Justin Moyer motions to approve.  Matt Losak seconds.  Motion passes.
  • HPAE – Cet Park provides update on HPAE membership vote to join our local.
  • Lanetix – Cet provided update. NLRB charges still pending.  Seeking reimbursement from TNG/CWA for $10,000 legal cost.

Rick Ehrmann

  • Washington Post – Tentative agreement reached on Post contract negotiations. Post union employees voted to ratify contract agreement.  Cites this as the most difficult negotiations in past 20 years of contract bargaining.
  • Requests approval of settlement. Sheila motions to accept contract vote.  Justin Moyer seconds. Motion passes to approve Post Union contract.
  • Update on ANA bargaining.

Paul Reilly

  • CASA – Tentative agreement reached after eight months of bargaining. Sheila Lindsay motions to approve.  Steve Cook seconds.  Motion to approve passes.

Eric Geist

  • United Way – Update presented by Cet Parks. No significant issues reported

Bruce Jett

  • Update resented by Cet Parks. No significant issues reported.

V. Membership Report

  • Sheila Lindsay moves to approve May 23-July 18 report. Matt Losak seconds.  Motion passes.

VI. EC Minutes

June 26, 2018

  • Matt Losak motions to approve. Mark Pattison seconds. 
  • Discussion – Sheila makes correction to who moved and seconded the May 23 EC minutes. Mark Pattison motioned to approve and Mark Gruenberg seconded May 23 EC minutes.  Motion passes to accept amended minutes.

VII. Good and Welfare

  • This item was mistakenly left off the agenda. In discussion, Jazmin Gargoum did not have any new updates.

VIII. Adjournment

  • Seth Dietz motions for next EC meeting to be held on August 22, 2018 – 7 PM at Guild office. Justin Moyer seconds. Motion passes.
  • Meeting adjourns at 9:55 PM.

June 26, 2018 – Executive Council Meeting Minutes

Meeting called to order by Treasurer Fitzgerald at 7:13 pm.

PRESENT: Mark Pattison (CNS); Sheila Lindsay (ANA); Steve Cook (BBNA); Freddie Kunkle (WaPost); Sam Nelson (JWJ); Jazmin Gargoum (At-Large); Executive Director Cet Parks, Local Reps Paul Reilly and Rick Ehrmann.

By Phone: Jeremy Sprinkle (NC-AFL-CIO); Joel Gatz (member-no vote- AFL-CIO); Lydia Ealy (UFCW); Justin Moyer (WaPost)

EXCUSED ABSENCE: Pres. Bob Struckman; VP Elise Bryant and Secretary David DeJesus

UNEXCUSED ABSENCE: All other council members.

Treasurer Fitzgerald opened the meeting advising of Pres. Struckman’s absence, and that of the other officers. Sheila Lindsay has agreed to take the minutes in the absence of Secretary DeJesus.

We will be deferring some items and move some items around a little bit which will be addressed as we go through the agenda.

Finances:  Parks – April 2018, please refer to your packet – financials included the carrying of Bruce Jett and Eric Geist, as we are no longer receiving the subsidy from TNG-CWA which is the reason for the net loss; Shirley Cherry (bookkeeper) and Tim meet regularly and will be modifying the finance report by adding a column (  ); Line 20 – reflects the dues increase for per capita up by $12,000; Lines 60 & 61 relate to Eric G. & Bruce Jett – use to receive subsidy as previously mentioned for Bruce Jett; no longer receiving;

  • We have 9 units we have not accounted for;
  • Line 49 Insurance – suddenly kicked out of CWA insurance – increase of $1400 – tagged in w/AFL-CIO when kicked out of CWA coverage, that’s what’s included.

After budget, Chair entertains a motion – moved by Mark P, second by Jazmin Gargoum passed by voice vote

 Cet – EC members had asked for a forecast of each unit dues that are currently coming in after FY 2017 income that came in after Sept. 30 and that is why it is showing; income which came in October 2017 under the new fiscal year; will see the same thing for FY 2018; Cet recited the units and the money they are being in; explained what took place with units and dollar figures in black.  Lead organizers 6 months – estimated.

Cet – is letting council know about the organizing and representational consultant will show in the budget – Eric representing first contracts; Bruce has things in the hopper – see report (pg. 56) – need to re-up these positions to continue the work – putting it out here for the EC to consider.

            Chair would like to entertain a motion – Motion to accept the April 2018 financials as presented by Executive Director, moved by Steve Cook and second by Sam Nelson.

            Discussion – are these positions to be considered full-time? Response by treasurer Fitzgerald – conversation has been had with the President and Treasurer; Cet contingent on the upcoming budget revenue to consider the organizing position and the contracts are bargained and enough revenue; would not automatically go to Bruce Jett – would place an ad.

Freddie inclined to support the motion but should have an evaluation of what has taken place with the other – more focus on internal organizing – perhaps the push is coming from the NewsGuild but would like to see a clear evaluation;

            Cet up to the EC to tell him what direction we want to go w/organizing up to the council to make that decision as to the direction to go for organizing.

            Sam – being from a small unit/non-profit, would like the structure to be more strategic – look at more internal organizing for the moment once the EC goes through the assessment, sitting down looking at the long-term strategy;

            Jeremy – favor of the motion to extend the 6 months for organizing; looking at small units – SAF – NC/AFL-CIO doesn’t see the small units as a drain on the Local finances; Jeff Bezos and Bloomberg are the drain on the Local; look at the small units as a model getting us across the finish line – keep focus on who the real drain is on our finances.

            Steve C. – inclined to support – mostly endorse what Sam stated to reassess our organizing strategy; BNA preparing for bargaining next year; buffaloed during last year’s negotiations – 6 months to next bargaining, gearing up; looking for internal organizing support from Bruce. Everyone deserves organizing – Post and BNA open shops – dealing with psychopathic owners – open shops are different – need a lot of organizing and effort intends to support the motion.

            Mark P. – voting yes – will be open to all who apply; that Bruce and Eric are not automatically given the position.

            Cet – loves all the units – little shops count too – help support the large units when needed; Bruce will be @BNA; Cet will complete work with Post and then going over to BNA to help with negotiations.  Motion passed by voice vote.

 Cet – should have mentioned this during discussion of the budget – pg. 5 – Legal Fees – actually – $100,000 – $18,000 over expecting a refund of $2,000;

  • Fight over the Tech unit and had to fight legally over the unit.
  • Rick – Bob Paul’s fees – Post NLRB charge – labor board #1 attorney and our attorney Bob Paul – subpoena for all records concerning bargaining – charges consolidated – prep work that will need to be done – filed charges and want to win the charges;
  • Consultant bill used for ANA and the Post – Ilana Boive – pension analyst; will probably use her for BNA; Freddie – caution on using her – used incorrect figures in one of the presentations – might have been included about same of her charges – may had been under CWA at time of the Post;
  • Jazmin and Steve spoke on the matter – Cet – places in the packet should monitor and review her data; Rick stated that someone had caught the error may have been caught by Ilana herself;
  • Tim stated, obtain a Statement of Work from those who are contracted by the Local;
  • Jazmin – what happens after the fact-how we respond or how they react to the errors;

Cet financials pg. 1 – Assets – AFT-NEROP would like to set-up a separate fund for their unit – members to donate to an ear marked funds – unit looking into option to do this;

New Business

  • Deferred
  • Before deferment of agenda item – EC moved into conversation about Studies on Pay Disparities

 – Cook – BNA trying to get info from BNA for years; getting run around; trying to obtain for unit, told the funders were available through CWA – interest in participating in it; doesn’t feel like CWA knows who BBNA are; don’t get any respect – interested in findings; Jeremy might be support in academia – Labor Schools;

  • EC agenda – paused to hear from member from RFA; after hearing the member’s issue, Unit leader Kharma Z motioned to arbitrate, Lindsay second; moved to discussion by the EC discussed; Vote was defeated 4 – 2, motion was denied; member was advised of their rights to appeal the EC decision at the next General Membership meeting; Treasurer advised member that a letter would be sent providing the EC decision and procedure to appeal.

Meeting resumed at 9:16pm

New Business (cont’d)

  • T-shirts – decision to conduct a board poll once Cook provides cost estimate;
  • TNG’s MultiDistrict Council (MDC) meeting in November – Fitzgerald mentioned what a great job Mark P. did in trying to get the meeting moved to a more closer and cost-efficient location; Mark P. made a motion to send the following EC members to the November MDC in San Francisco: Mark P., Mark G (they serve as officers for the Southern District Council (SDC) to which WBNG are members of and who appointed Fitzgerald as the SDC’s Human Rights and Equity Committee (HREC) to the TNG’s HREC and Sheila Lindsay, as the Region II Vice President, Pres. Struckman, and Cet Parks – for travel, lodging, and per diem with exception of Sheila Lindsay whose expenses will be covered by TNG;
  • NC-AFLCIO State Convention – motion by Jeremy Sprinkle to attend as a delegate – Jeremy’s expenses are covered as an employee of NC/AFL-CIO and a delegate from SAF, moves to send delegates to the conference with exception of registration fees at $200; Mark P. second; Jazmin Gargoum made a friendly amendment to offer the IRS standard rates for mileage and registration. Amendment was accepted by the maker of the motion. Motion passed by voice vote.
  • Pennsylvania AFL-CIO conference – deferred to next EC meeting;
  • CWA 2018 D2-1 Leadership conference – deferred to next EC meeting;
  • CWA HRE Conference – Lindsay motioned to send Fitzgerald to the conference, as he is the SDC appointed delegate and appointed to the CWA HRE committee by the TNG Sector Executive, Lindsay offered explanation of the appointment, and that she would reach out to TNG to see if the would either A) pay for the expense out of the HREC budget or B) split the cost with the Local, motion was second by Jazmin Gargoum. Motion passed by voice vote.
  • Nat’s tickets – purchase tickets 3-4 weeks out; suggested perhaps a lower number of tickets to be purchased by the Local and selling to members at cost – motion by Steve Cook, second by Mark P. for the Local to purchase 50 tickets. Motion passed by voice vote.
  • NC State AFL-CIO Carolina Labor School – no need to discuss at this time;
  • United Way – Guild to make a contribution – not time sensitive – report next month on donations – this will be deferred to next EC meeting;
  • WBNG Labor Day Picnics – deferred to next EC meeting;

Old Business

  • Credit Card policy – setting aside date/time for the two chairs to have a meeting with the staff regarding additional questions.
  • Robert’s Rules of Order – deferred until next EC meeting 

Staff Reports

  • Cet – AFT-NEROP – negotiations – unit requests EC approval of ratification vote – Mark P. motioned, second by Sam Nelson. Motion passed by voice vote.
  • Rick – Post reached tentative agreement on June 26 bottom line – minimized most of the bad things; more across the board increase – almost 1% of the media salary – $15 per week – highest monetary in over 20 years; protected seniority layoff; preserved about all of their benefits; cuts in severance; 14 months of bargaining until two-weeks ago due to members social media action – shit sandwich fought with every tool they had; surge in younger membership – engaged in Social Media action.
  • Paul – request for discretionary authority to arbitrate discharge of BBNA employee – motion by Cook, second by Lindsay. Motion passed by voice vote.
  • Eric – nothing for EC approval
  • Motion to approve the minutes of the May 23, 2018 EC meeting (need to find notes on the minutes – who moved/second to include in this reporting)

Setting the date of the next EC meeting – Wednesday, July 18 at 7pm in the DC office.

Motion to adjourn was called – second by many at 9:45pm.

Minutes presented by Sheila Lindsay, EC member on behalf of secretary David DeJesus

June 2, 2018 – General Membership Meeting Minutes

Present:  Robert Struckman, Cet Parks, Seth Dietz, David DeJesus, Keith Barnes, Sally Davidow, Paul Reilly, Elise Bryant, Steve Cook, Mark Pattison

Phone:  Joel Gratz, Luke Canfora, Juanita Sanchez, Justin Moyer, Maya Goines, Scott Reynolds, Marcus Trammell, and others

Excused – Sheila Lindsay, Jazmin Gargoum, Mark Gruenberg, Ramon Zepeda

President Struckman calls meeting to order at 10:04 AM

I. Officers Report

  • President’s Report – President Struckman provided a general update on initiatives and best practices regarding policy and procedures to assist in our local’s efforts. 
  • Secretary’s Report – No update presented.

II. GMM Minutes

  • February 10, 2018 – Maya Goines notes spelling correction of name on February minutes.  Dave DeJesus moved to accept February minutes.  Seth Dietz seconds.  Motion passes.
  • April 7, 2018 – Joel Gratz requests that language in minutes fully reflect description of “targeted forensic audit”. Dave DeJesus motions to approve April minutes, seconded by Seth Dietz.  Motion passes.

III. New Business

  • No new business issues dis

IV. New Business

  • No new business issues discussed.

V. For The Good of the Order

  • Members Marcus Trammell and Joel Gratz discuss idea of webinar/conference system used by AFL-CIO for field meetings, can be adopted by our local to enable greater participation in meetings for members who participate remotely.

VI. Executive Council and Staff Reports

  • No staff reports were presented.

A motion to adjourn was made; Mark Pattison seconds.  Motion passes.  Meeting is adjourned at 10:20 AM.

April 7, 2018 – Executive Council Meeting Minutes

Meeting called to order by President Struckman at 202 pm, following General Membership meeting earlier that day.

Present: President Robert Struckman, Vice President Elise Bryant (phone), Treasurer Tim Fitzgerald, Council members Mark Gruenberg, Mark Pattison, Steve Cook, Celeste Drake, Sheila Lindsay, Jazmin Gargoum, Matt Losak, Justin Moyer (phone),  Mikhail Romanov (phone), Jeremy Sprinkle (phone), Seth Dietz (phone), Executive Director Cet Parks, Local Reps Rick Ehrmann, Paul Reilly.

Excused absence: Secretary David DeJesus (ill).

Also present: Evan Yeats (acting chair, but not council member, UFCW, after Parks phone call midway through meeting).

Financial reports: Handled in general membership meeting.

Audit: Pattison moves, Losak seconds approval of annual audit (regular). PASSED VOICE VOTE. 


FLA AFL-CIO: Pattison moves, Drake seconds proposal to join FLA AFL-CIO, per request of new unit there, under terms and conditions outlined in their proposal, and with the request to submit a report on activities. Cost 80 cents/member/month X 15 members = $144/ year. PASSED VOICE VOTE. 

NO VA. ANNUAL TRIBUTE: Losak moves, Gargoum seconds to buy two =tickets to Northern Virginia annual tribute to labor. Fitzgerald notes money for purchase was not budgeted. Struckman points out “their weekly e-mails are really useful.” PASSED VOICE VOTE.

NC AFLCIO: Sprinkle moves, Losak seconds contributing $100 to NC AFLCIO Victory Fund, states money is not for contributions to candidates, but for member education and printing of a flyer. “This would not be actively engaged in electoral politics.”  Parks notes last year, council authorized him to write a letter announcing local’s opposition to proposed Virginia constitutional amendment enshrining right-to-work in state’s basic charter. (The amendment lost).

“We should stay away from candidates and endorsements, but there’s room for us to work on larger issues, such as health care, right to work and other policies,” Deitz said. SPRINKLE WITHDRAWS HIS MOTION, but will resubmit it if there is a proposed NC constitutional amendment on right to work.

Discussion continued. Lindsay notes the question of politics on issues has arisen at the TNG



Executive Board meetings and could come up at the next sector conference (convention).

Drake, after other references to local’s “Green Zone” policy on political stands, said issue also

arose because “some people want to do more” to support Black Lives Matter. “We need to talk about a COPE fund, while keeping a distinction with how our dues are used.” Ehrmann notes the Green Zone has “an exception dealing with the matters of labor rights and human rights.”

Struckman reports CWA Secretary-=Treasurer Sara Steffens, a former reporter, “is working on a way to have individual donations to a COPE fund,” to be used “for advocating for rules and laws important to our membership. Look for that in the weeks or months ahead.”

Romanov (by  phone) submits motion regarding UFCW unit election: Suspend the election, reopen the nomination process with every unit member being allowed to participate and to give all members the right to observe ballot counting.

Romanov gives background by phone: Explains he was terminated on Jan. 12 and WBNG has formally filed a grievance challenging termination as being in retaliation for his union activities.

Thus he remains as a WBNG member and UFCW unit chair. Current officers, including acting chair, reaffirmed his membership and no move was made to oust him. Unit later approved the election and the eligibility list and circulated materials via the UFCW’s internal e-mail system ( Since Romanov had been terminated and escorted out of the building, he was also dropped from the e-mail list.

Romanov stated the next thing he knew of the election was when he received his ballot, with the office of unit chair listed with one name, uncontested. Ballots had been mailed from WBNG main office, to be counted April 10. Romanov was not notified of the nominations meeting and did not receive other election-related e-mails. He submitted a request to observe the ballot tally, but was denied. He stated he provided substitute contact information, his personal e-mail.

(Midway through the discussion, Gruenberg, acting as secretary, points out nobody seconded Romanov’s motion. He then does so, allowing the discussion to continue).

“Management wants me out. I raised these issues to the unit to seek a resolution,” Romanov  said. “My speculation is this was intentional – and it was not remedied. In the best light, this was an oversight, but it would be negligent of the EC to overlook this issue. They (unit officers) offered me no remedies whatsoever. I’m eligible, but not allowed to participate.” He also stated had he been notified of the nominations meeting, he would have offered a nomination for unit chair.

Drake states UFCW members “may have been unaware they’re allowed to nominate someone who was fired,” where WBNG is contesting the firing. Lindsay states the EC needs to hear from



UFCW unit’s officers, which leads Parks to call Evan Yeats and ask him to call in.

Motion made to call the question, passed by more than 2/3rds show of hands, but Struckman states question will not be called until those who previously indicated a wish to speak, either in the room or by phone, had a chance to do so.

Gargoum reminds council this is not the first time e-mails concerning an election failed to reach voters. The same thing happened before the first WBNG-wide election of officers last year. Romanov replies the UFCW unit officers OKd the eligibility list for this election, including him.

Drake suggests a compromise: “Have the local officers, plus the unit officers, plus Cet (Parks) and Mikhail get together to agree on something everybody can live with.” “Maybe we can short-circuit a potential overturn?” of a unit election, such as occurred previously in her unit.

Yeats joins the discussion, by phone, and volunteers to answer questions. “It was a very long election process, in part because of the split in the unit,” he said. Also states “there might be a room available for an offsite (ballot) count.” Yeats also said he “received objections to Mikhail’s participation, which I rejected.” He opposes reopening the nominations process, because it had already been extended.

Yeats continues that the failure of nomination and election-related e-mails to reach Romanov was “an oversight” due to the unit’s use of the list. UFCW unit allows members to nominate themselves, with those nominated notified by e-mail and given a deadline for reply, also by e-mail. “We accepted every name put forward,” he stated.

Drake restates her compromise proposal and puts it in the form of a friendly amendment. Yeats says “I’m happy to get together.” Romanov replies “I would appreciate such a meeting, but I’m seeking to participate, including in the nominations phase. There’s a window to make sure we do this right. I do not accept the friendly amendment.

Yeats then says “I would reject rerunning this from scratch, but if we do so, it would have to be administered by the local. He said that was a second friendly amendment, but it failed for lack of a second.

Vote then occurred on passage of Romanov’s original motion:

YEA: Council members Losak, Cook, Romanov, Dietz, Moyer, Sprinkle, Vice President Bryant.

NAY: Treasurer Fitzgerald, Council members Pattison, Lindsay.

ABSTAIN:  Council members Drake, Gargoum, Gruenberg.

Yeats was not permitted to vote as unit chair Romanov already did so, as UFCW’s represent

tative. Yeats asks council to inform the unit of its decision, adding “I disagree with this.”



FRONT PAGE AWARDS: Gruenberg, chair of FPA committee, announces entry deadline for this year’s competition will be Memorial Day. Ceremony will also include last year’s awards, delayed due to WBNG election rerun. Nominations have already been submitted for 2017 Guild Service Awards, and 2016 GS award winners have been selected and will be included in ceremony too. Gruenberg then says that after 12 years, “it’s time for a fresh set of eyes,” so this will be the last ceremony he runs.

BY-LAWS: Fitzgerald makes the point the council named him chair of the By-Laws Committee, contrary to an e-mail President Struckman circulated. Says committee will meet either April 18 or 26, at pleasure/consensus of those who wish to serve.

FLORIDA AFL-CIO CONTRACT: Gruenberg moves, Pattison seconds approval of contract covering FLA AFL-CIO staff unit (15 people). 3% raise. PASSED VOICE VOTE.

AFL-CIO BARGAINING COMMITTEE: Pattison moves, Lindsay seconds approval of AFL-CIO bargaining committee:  Pablo DeLeon, Celeste Drake, Marcus Trammell, Isaac Gobern, Tiffany Heath and Cet Parks. PASSED VOICE VOTE

MEMBERSHIP REPORT: Lindsay moves, Drake seconds approval of Jan. 30-March 28 membership report. PASSED VOICE VOTE.

MINUTES: Lindsay moves, Drake seconds approval of minutes of Jan. 30, 2018 Executive Council meeting. PASSED VOICE VOTE.

MINUTES: Lindsay moves, Drake seconds approval of minutes of Feb. 10, 2018 Executive Council meeting. PASSED VOICE VOTE.

NEXT EC MEETING: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at DC office, 7 pm.

Yeats asks a procedural question by phone whether the ballots of the UFCW unit election can be impounded until the controversy is resolved, or until the July General Membership meeting.

Question went unanswered.

Losak moves, Gruenberg seconds motion to adjourn. PASSED VOICE VOTE.


In Solidarity,

Mark Gruenberg

Acting as Secretary, WBNG Local 32035