April 1 General Membership meeting

The Saturday, April 1, gathering of the WBNG membership will take place in Local 32035’s Baltimore Office, 806 N. Calvert St. The meeting will commence at 10 a.m.

Jan. 10 Executive Council meeting

* Council approved the appointment of Ed Fortney (Local 500 SEIU) as a replacement for Steven Cook (Bloomberg-BNA) on the Elections and Referendum Committee. The committee is overseeing the balloting for three contested positions on the WBNG Executive Council for 2017-18. The votes are to be counted and the results announced on Jan. 27.
* Consultant Bruce Jett announced an organizing win at the Advancement Project. Potential Guild members voted 11-2 in favor of representation at the nonprofit. The total unit will be 15 to 20 workers. 
* Executive Director Cet Parks reported on negotiations with management of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, where a three-year contract covering two dozen employees expires March 31. He said that bargaining is expected to be completed in just two or three session.
* Local Representative Rick Ehrmann reported that both parties at the Center for Popular Democracy are “shooting for a tentative agreement by Feb. 1.” This will be the first contract at CPD, and will cover about 35 Guild members.
* Local Representative Paul Reilly discussed Black History Month events at Bloomberg-BNA. Council approved spending up to $500 to support B-BNA Guild unit mobilizing/organizing efforts tied to these events.
* Council approved a Jobs with Justice bargaining team: Ada Fuentes, Ethan Miller, and Local Representative Paul Reilly.  A contract covering 14 Guild members expired Dec. 31.
* Mikhail Romanov (UFCW) and Parks give an update on bargaining at UFCW, where a contract covering 63 workers expired Oct. 7, but remains in effect. Romanov said, however, that there have been several contract violations in the past months and that management cancelled a recent negotiating session after trying to evict a union member from the bargaining table.
* Ehrmann reported that the “Post unit is growing because News is blossoming.” A membership drive will start there on Jan. 17. 
* Parks and Treasurer Amy Lampkin (AFL-CIO) reported on post-election layoffs expected at federation headquarters. Lampkin said that the initial plan was to lay off 60 employees (including management and other bargaining units). Even though 27 workers took buyouts, she said, management is still looking for 55 more. Layoffs are producing “battles and arbitrations” and are being used to “get rid of people they don’t want or like.”
* Ehrmann reported that National Association of Social Workers management has ordered unpaid furloughs. The Guild is scheduled to meet with management there next week.
* The schedule for the five General Membership meetings in 2017 was approved: Jan. 31 (7 p.m.), Washington office. Installation of WBNG officers for 2017-18. April 1 (10 a.m.), Baltimore office. Nomination for delegates to TNG sector conference and CWA convention. July 19 (7 p.m.), Washington office. Front Page Awards ceremony. Sept. 9 (10 a.m.), Baltimore office. Dec. 9 (10 a.m.), Washington office.
* Council approved the purchase of a half-page ad and two tickets for the Washington D.C. Metro CLC Evening With Labor.
* Council learned of a MLK Jr. Holiday Ball fundraiser set for Jan. 15. The fundraiser will benefit the AFL-CIO Labor Heritage Foundation.
* The next council meeting was set for Feb. 21, in Washington.

Dec. 14 Executive Council meeting

* Council approved a three-year contract covering two employees at the North Carolina AFL-CIO. The federation workers will receive cumulative raises of nearly 20 percent over the life of the agreement.
* Council approved one-year contract extensions at Agence France-Presse and at Catholic News Service.

* Executive Director Cet Parks reported on the status of bargaining at UFCW headquarters, where a contract covering 64 employees expired in early October. Parks said management has been generally slow to respond to WBNG proposals.
* Local Representative Rick Ehrmann reported on progress in efforts towards a first contract at the Center for Popular Democracy, with both sides agreeing to interest-based bargaining. Organized during the summer, the unit has three dozen employees; talks began in September.

* Council approved a Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions bargaining committee: unit Chair John Kolodny, unit Vice Chair Jessica Butz, Chris Parker, Dan Ryan, Simone Zimmer and Cet Parks. A contract covering 25 workers at CKPU expires March 31, 2017.
* Council discussed and approved a revised local election timeline. Three of the board’s top four officer positions are being contested.
* Council members discussed post-election layoffs at the AFL-CIO headquarters and at the federation’s community affiliate, Working America. Council member Jazmin Gargoum was one of the employees let go by Working America. She said that the layoffs followed past management patterns at the “toxic” workplace, with little notice, bonuses being denied, and managers being spared. In one case, a problematic manager was demoted into a position in the Guild bargaining unit. Parks noted that the AFL-CIO let people know in advance that layoffs were coming, and that federation managers were among those laid off.  
* Parks reported on an arbitration loss in a grievance at Working America where the unit’s sole Muslim worker was denied a request to secure a shift in schedule to honor Ramadan.
* Local 32035 Vice President Tim Fitzgerald, chair of the WBNG Bylaws Committee, distributed copies of proposed revisions. These will be considered at the next meeting.
* The next Executive Council meeting was set for Jan. 10, in Washington.