May 15, 2019 Executive Council Meeting

Washington-Baltimore News Guild
Executive Council Meeting Minutes
Date of Meeting: May 15, 2019, 7:10 PM

Present: Elise Bryant, Hau Chu, Steve Cook, Lillyanne Daigle, David DeJesus, Lydia Ealey, Tim Fitzgerald, Dan Gabor, Don Griesheimer, Mark Gruenberg, Fatima Hussein, Freddy Kunkle, Marissa Lang, Katie Mettler, Justin Moyer, Sam Nelson, Bryan Nelson, Bill O’Meara, Mark Pattison, Ben Soloway, Jeremy Sprinkle, Michelle Wang

Excused: Ben Cooper, Ed Fortney

Staff & Guests: Donna Edwards, MD State and DC AFL-CIO Salute to Leadership

I. Minutes

  • April 6, 2019 – Mark Pattison motions to approve, seconded by Ben Soloway. Motion Passes.
  • March 20, 2019 – Justin Moyer motions to approve, seconded by Mark Pattison. Motion Passes.

II. Membership Report & Stats

  • April 6, 2019 – May 15, 2019. Don Griesheimer motions to approve, seconded by Justin Moyer. Motion Passes. Discussions followed on making minor status adjustments/updates (M&R and BBNA – Mike Williams and Mindy J. Yochelson).

III. Executive Director’s Report & Staff

Cet Parks

  • Requests authority to engage in coordinated joint bargaining with Tribune Publishing and the Chesapeake and Tidewater units. The newly organized units from Chicago, Allentown, Hartford, Chesapeake and Tidewater will voluntarily participate. Don Gabor motions to approve, seconded by Mark Gruenberg. Motion Passes. Additional discussions on cost impact (lost time, travel), and potential for SIF funding.
  • Requests approval of Baltimore Sun bargaining committee (Scott Dance, Mary McCauley, Liz Fesperman, David Wright, Sheila Cole, Curtis Hale, Kevin Rector, Lilly Reed). Sam Nelson motions to approve, seconded by Justin Moyer. Motion Passes.
  • Requests approval of SEIU Local 500 bargaining committee (Ed Fortney, Marva Luke, Katie Brown, Jay Weaver, Greg Petrilli). Justin Moyer motions to approve, seconded by Don Griesheimer. Motion Passes.

Rick Ehrmann

  • Rick and Katie Mettler report on successful kick-off of Post unit bargaining campaign. Largest event in years with 150 attendees and 14 new union sign-ups.
  • Requests retroactive authority for approval of Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO bargaining committee (Chris Garlock, David Dzidzienko). Sam Nelson motions to approve, seconded by Don Griesheimer. Motion Passes.
  • Requests approval of APWU two year contract extension. Mark Pattison motions to approve, seconded by Justin Moyer. Motion Passes.
  • Requests approval of NASW two year contract extension. Don Griesheimer motions to approve, seconded by Dan Gabor. Motion Passes.
  • Requests approval of bargaining committee for Student Action with Farmworkers, led by led by Joanna Welborn, Unit Chair. Hau Chu motions to approve, seconded by Elise Bryant. Motion Passes.
  • Requests retroactive authority to arbitrate suspension of Washington Post employee Lydell Williams. Justin Moyer motions to approve, seconded by Elise Bryant. Motion Passes.

Paul Reilly

  • Requests approval of BBNA Correspondents Unit bargaining team (Chris Brown, Mike Bologna, Paul Reilly). Don Griesheimer motions to approve, seconded by Sam Nelson. Motion Passes.

Eric Geist

  • Requesting approval of Lambda Legal contract when it comes in. Elise Bryant motions to approve. Discussion on whether council can approve contract before it is ratified by members. Steve Cook rules the motion is in order. Bill O’Meara requests amending the original motion to state “approve pending ratification by the unit”. Motion Passes.

Bruce Jett

  • No action items.

IV. Financials

February 2019

  • Cet Parks provides update on February financials. Mark Pattison motions to approve, seconded by Justin Moyer. Motion Passes.
  • Discussions follow on TNG SIF Funding for Eric Geist which has an effect of reducing deficits. Additional discussions on positioning SIF funding request for organizing and bargaining, funding allocated to Melinda Fiedler/TNG, and funding discussion relating consultant Eric Geist.

March 2019

  • Cet Parks provides overview of March financials. Don Griesheimer motions to approve, seconded by Justin Moyer. Motion passes.
    Bruce Jett/Eric Geist Consultant Fees
  • Mark Pattison moves to increase consultant fees to $1,500 per week through August 16, 2019, seconded by Don Griesheimer. Motion Passes.

V. New Business

2019 CWA 2-13 Local Leadership Training

  • Cet Parks provides update on training program held in West Virginia on June 16 through June 21. Cet requests discretionary authority to send two people, pending acceptance by the CWA District 2-13, to be funded out of the Darlene Meyer Fund. Justin Moyer motions to approve, seconded by Dan Griesheimer. Motion Passes.

MD State and DC AFL-CIO Salute to Leadership

  • Donna Edwards attended EC Meeting to provide update on the awards dinner and to answer any questions regarding the event.
    Communications Committee Draft Resolution
  • Hua Chu motions to approve draft resolution to appoint a Communications Committee, and to appoint Eric Geist as the staff liaison to this committee. Seconded by Elise Bryant. Motion Passes.

Communication Committee Appointments

  • The chair nominated the following as members: Lillyanne Daigle (M+R), Chair, Ed Fortney (SEIU 500), LaTisha Harvey (BBNA), Dan Gabor (AFL-CIO), Hau Chu (Washington Post), Bryan Nelson (HPAE). Eric Geist was assigned to be the committee’s staff liaison.

Committee Chair Reports

  • Bylaws Committee – Sam Nelson reports that Bylaws Committee had its first meeting a few weeks ago and the next meeting is scheduled for May 21. To date the committee has tackled Articles 1 and 2 and placing language in bylaws defining what at-large membership is, which isn’t addressed in our current bylaws and more.
  • Organizing – Fatima Hussein provides update on Organizing, establishing and defining goals, and addressing the loss of Michele Fiedler (resignation) on TNG Staff who was assigned to assist with the local’s organizing efforts.
  • Finance Committee – Justin Moyer provided update on Christian Norton’s web services costs, the local’s telephone bills, and the Bob Paul retainer discussion.
  • Justin motions to request Cet Parks to initiate discussions with Bob Paul to consider being on a retainer or fixed fee status. Seconded by Elise Bryant. Bill O’Meara motions to table the discussion due to insufficient time to discuss. Motion Passes to table discussion to next EC meeting.

JWJ – Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award Celebration

  • Sam Nelson discusses – no action taken.

Labor Notes

  • Deferred

New Jersey Universal Healthcare Coalition

  • Brian Nelson (HPAE) discusses. The request is for WBNG to join in as an organizational member with the NJUHC to support Senate Bill 1384 to create Medicare for all.
  • Don Gabor motions to approve support of the NJUHC initiative, seconded by Elise Bryant. There is concern expressed by EC members on how to participate in a non-partisan way.
  • Dan Gabor modifies original motion that we authorize the HPAE unit to sign on to the letter of support, as the HPAE unit of the WBNG. Motion Passes.
    Funding Our Fight for the Future
  • Bill O’Meara provided background context on significant TNG funding issues to be aware of, with a briefing distributed to EC.

VI. Good & Welfare

  • Cet Parks discusses staff unit contract adjustment. Dan Gabor moves to approve staff contract adjustment of one percent and seconded. Motion Passes.

VII. Adjournment

  • Dan Gabor motions to adjourn, seconded by Elise Bryant. Motion Passes and meeting is adjourned at 9:40 PM.