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.
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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