November 17, 2018 – Executive Council Meeting Minutes

Present: Robert Struckman (President); Elise Bryant (VP); Tim Fitzgerald (Treasurer); Sheila Lindsay
(ANA); Don Griesheimer (ANA); Mark Pattison (CSN); Mark Gruenberg (Small At-Large); Steve Cook
(BBNA); Justin Moyer (Post); Sam Nelson (JWJ); Kharma Zurkhang (RFA); Peter Brusoe (BBNA); Cet Parks (ED); Paul Reilly (Rep); Rick Ehrmann (Rep) and Ed Fortney (SEIUS00, by phone)

Excused: Dave DeJesus, Jazmin Gargoum, Gabe Gonzalez

Executive Council meeting called to order at 12:25pm

1st order of business – question called on whether a quorum – determined a quorum had been met with 13 members present.

Business discussed: appointment of the Elections Referendum Committee

Adding additional items to the agenda FINANCIALS Proposed budget – pg. 8 of the EC packet – Treasurer Tim Fitzgerald

I. Financials

Proposed budget – pg. 8 of the EC packet – Treasurer Tim Fitzgerald

  • Change to line 57 based on today’s (11/17) General Membership meeting- attending 2
    conferences in 2019, voted to send 10 to TNG Sector Conference and 7 to CEA Convention Propose to send 13 & 8; other line allowed $8,000; based on the San Francisco trip, came in a little lower.

Mark P., motioned to approve the proposed budget- as things change from month to month Question on Line 62-Negotiations – concern around units with upcoming contract negotiations, i.e.,
BBNA, Baltimore Sun -concern numbers budgeted were to low for negotiations, salary for Eric Geist should be separate line item up until January; loss time @ the Sun, no loss time for BBNA; $66k for
Geist, initially budgeted.

Line 63 question of Bruce Jett’s salary through January, approved by EC; Parks to be seeking extensions of both (Jett & Geist) to the EC in January.

Discussion of hiring an organizer: numbers are a bit low; must get contracts signed to have revenue coming in by 2020-2021. Tidewater G ____ about 200, want to come into WBNG, currently being negotiated by TNG staff rep, Lou Greico.

Question – if we extend their contracts do we revise the budget, which goes to the comment made by Mark P. (“Fitzgerald doesn’t reflect what the council approves”); Struckman, would only vote on what we add throughout the year. Budget then fluctuates months to months. Reflects current fiscal year – calendar year. Chances there will be an extension; Mark G., $1.879k would be add ons once the
incoming units revenues begin to come in.

Cook – deficit of $123k, how is that sustainable? Parks – stair stepping units into the revenues; Struckman – after several years decide we don’t want to be adding funds or budget on the front end, clear at this point -bargaining of new units. Spending money to make money; less external organizing and more internal organizing, looking for direction by the EC. 

Question: has the budget been approved by the Budget Committee?
Cook -double down on expenses, some years will be running a surplus.
Struckman -surplus on dues to add a strike fund -move more aggressively
Griesheimer -strategic planning committee -do we know what we want to be over the next five years?
Conduct a financial analysis -cost of analyzing units going forward during negotiations. Bargain more effectively and efficiently

Parks -8 in previous years and now 16 units but no increase in staff; finding ways to be more effective and training of our members.10 years ago bargaining new contracts in 6 months, now doing it within a year or more, people don’t want a standardized contract. Estimate is actually lower than it was last year APAE & Advancement Project coming in, should not be a deficit at end of year -$72,000 income from each unit, trajectory growing well. Doable looking at future organizing, slight change in accounting procedures fiscal year in 2016, reflecting back on accruals, will see an uptake for Sept., will be reflected in this years budget will show a better increase.

Motion to accept the budget as put forward. Motion passes by voice vote

II. New Business

MultiDistrict Council Meeting report by Mark P. -Pres. Bernie Lunzer reported that TNG is under staff more than½ of the staff being paid under CWAs SIF membership is up; Digital Media organizing, 19,470; news media alliance down 56%, TNG up by 20%; CWA Secretary-Treasurer, Sara Steffens reported
budget growing in the compliance department, no more paper filing, itemized reports -policy set – WBNG had policy set in 1970, adopted to use per diem currently set by Dept. of Labor; slate of policies on their way. ULPS, DFRs, NLRB failure to process a grievance is considered a breach. Must keep grievant informed throughout the step process, necessary to maintain a documentary timeline.

  • Janus decision;
  • $275k -23k per month;
  • SEC have cut down on face to face meetings, Fall board meeting conducted via Zoom
  • no clerical support during the 2019 conference;
  • looking at defense fund to get things done;
  • discussion of merging NABET & PPMW could keep them in place, Charlie Greco is in favor, look for TNG to take the lead;
  • SDC elections: re-elected Nestor Soto, president, Mark P., secretary-treasurer, Mark G., vice-president, Tim Fitzgerald appointed to serve as the TNG HREC representative to the CWA Human and Civil Rights Committee

AFA Request-bi-annual meeting in New Orleans, problems with temperature. Please help them out – no action taken

CWA PAC FUND -CWA Strong pushing heavily-an account for the Local has been set up; individual options for members to do; funds would come into the Local; can be done by payroll deduction, can help us out by shutting management out.

Guild Copier lease – Fitzgerald spoke to the matter: negotiation of renewing the contract; UBT made a competitive offer, Nauticon (new vendor), contract was a bad offer; requested the remove recurring payment of $13,000; Nauticon agreed to tear up current contract, waive or reduce price; Nancy Banks asked Parks for approval to renew contract with UBT, Parks agreed to approval – Parks (ED) to take charge of this issue. Nauticon offered lower rates, wrong information was given. Struckman gave kudos to Fitzgerald for his activism on this, up to ED & EC to make the approval, we are receiving the $13,000 from Nauticon. Fitzgerald makes a request that the EC approval of all contracts, Fitzgerald turns request to a motion that all contracts (long standing), come before the EC, concept of EC reviewing contracts absence a certain approver, be reviewed and approved by the EC. No second to the motion, motion denied, no movement.

Appointing an ERC

Discussion of the At-Large, 8 people for the 5 positions – of how those elections take place.

ERC – president would normally name; EC members offered the following members to serve: Tiffany Heath (AFL); Sam Nelson (JWJ); Amanda Erickson (Post); Amy Lampkin (AFL); Mark P. (CNS); Peter Brusoe (BBNA) and Tammy Madison (BBNA)

DOL requested to meet with the ERC for training; questions about ensuring the validity of the number of people serving and not. Motion to approval of the 7 people nominated to serve on the ERC. Motion passes by voice vote.

Setting the next EC meeting: Dec. 19 @ 7pm, DC office

Good & Welfare: Renter’s Alliance had approved $1,000 & unable to take up discussion for the request.

Motion to adjourn, second by Peter Brusoe, motion passed by voice vote.

September 15, 2018 – General Membership Meeting Minutes

Present: Elise Bryant, Matt Losak, Gabe Gonzalez, Jazmin Gargoum, Rick Ehrmann, Mark Pattinson, Sally Yates, Paul Reilly, Cet Parks, Ben Cooper, Sheila Lindsey, Tim Fitzgerald. Bob Struckman and Huidong Cao

Phone: Seth Dietz, Ed Fortney, Dan Gabor, Justin Moyer, Luke Canfora, Chris Garlock

Excused – David DeJesus

Vice President Elise Bryant calls meeting to order at 10:15 AM

Joel Gratz made a quorum call. Quorum was not met. Joel made a motion to adjourn. Justin Moyer seconded. There was discussion about the merits of holding the meeting regardless of quorum for informational purposes. A vote was taken. Motion to adjourn due to lack of quorum was voted down.

I. Action Items

• Due to lack of quorum minutes were tabled until the next membership meeting since there was not a quorum to approve them.

II. New Business

• There was discussion on the Huidong Cao Arbitration Request Petition. Since Mr. Cao, the grievant, and Bob Struckman, who collected the petition signatures and put the item on the agenda, were both absent at this point in the meeting, the group decided to move this item to the next general membership meeting.

III. Old Business

• No old business issues discussed.

IV. EC Officer and Staff Reports

• Staff reports were moved to the next EC meeting.

Gabe Gonzalez motioned to adjourn; motion is seconded. Motion passes.

October 24, 2018 – Executive Council Meeting Minutes

Present: The following Board Members were present either in person or by telephone, which constituted a quorum – Tim Fitzgerald, Jeremy Sprinkle, Justin Moyer, Mark Gruenberg, Mark Pattison, Steve Cook, Don Griesheimer, Sam Nelson, Elise Bryant, Peter Brusoe, Matt Losak, Dave DeJesus, Freddy Kunkle, Gabe Gonzalez

Staff and Guests Present: Rick Ehrmann, Paul Reilly, Cet Parks

Excused: Robert Struckman, Sheila Lindsay, Jazmin Gargoum

Meeting was called to order at 7:16 PM.

I. Financials

September 2018 and Bob Paul Invoice

  • Cet Parks provided an update on the September financials. Mark Pattison moves to approve September financials. Sam Nelson seconds. Motion Passes. 
  • Tim Fitzgerald discusses proposed budget details for 2019. Additional discussion on proposed budget. Matt Losak suggests updating EC of changes during planning that impact budget and stresses prudence in budget process.
  • Peter Brusoe expresses concerns on other unit negotiations, loss of employees from BNA and its overall impact on the budget. Other EC members expressed concerns of being overly optimistic on proposed budget. Peter Brusoe motions to send the budget back to committee for review based on input from EC.
  • Matt Losak seconds and adds friendly amendment to add budget to the legal line item ($13K), negotiations ($10K), and that the revenue estimate take into account the 7% layoff at BNA; that revenue budgets are looked at 6 months versus annually, and that budgets are prepared and put into packets to provide EC more time to review. Vote is taken. Jeremy Sprinkle abstains. Motion Passes.
  • No discussion on Bob Paul Invoice

II. New Business

American Arbitration Association Election Proposal

  • Cet Parks provides overview on AAA proposal for oversight and management of upcoming local elections by mail ballot at cost of $6,200 (reference page 13 and 14 in EC packet). Additional discussion on whether to keep voting in-house versus all mail ballots.
  • Peter Brusoe moves to adopt mail ballot as outlined in AAA proposal at an approximate cost of $6,200 and seconded by Don Griesheimer.
  • Further discussion on costs of mail balloting versus in-house, costs incurred by last election, timeliness in getting mail ballots to overseas/international members, updating addresses, etc. Cet Parks calls the question.
  • Motion is restated, and vote taken. Additional discussion and concerns registered after the vote was taken. Gabe Gonzalez notes point of order on vote (calling the question) – vote retaken on motion to adopt mail ballot as outlined in AAA proposal at an approximate cost of $6,200. Tim Fitzgerald abstains. Motion Passes.

E&R Committee

  • Cet Parks discusses scheduling meet with DOL and ERC Committee. Gabe Gonzalez points out that at last meeting that EC voted to establish a new ERC Committee. EC agrees to establish the ERC Committee members at the November 2018 general membership meeting.

Sector Conference – Official Call

  • Cet Parks provides overview on TNG Sector Conference in Orlando, FL (January 25-27, 2019). Nominations are required at a membership meeting and notification will need to be sent out. Steve Cook discusses nominating delegates for TNG Sector Conference at the November 17 membership meeting and send out announcements to members within 15 day, and after additional conversation EC agrees.

Delegate to Northwest Florida CLC

  • Gabe Gonzalez motions to add delegate Phyllis Garrett to the NW Florida CLC Chapter. Mark Gruenberg seconds. Motion Passes 

NC State – Hurricane Relief

  • Gabe Gonzalez motions to make a $500 contribution each, to the NC Hurricane Relief effort and the Florida Workers Relief Fund, and to ask each unit to send out a link to unit chairs for members to support these funds. Matt Losak seconds. There was additional discussion on support and its impact on budget.
  • Peter Brusoe offers friendly amendment to reduce contribution to $250 each. Matt Losak withdraws his second to Gabe’s motion based on misunderstanding the motion; Mark Pattison then seconds the original motion. Further discussion follows. Motion to call the question and vote is taken. Motion to call question passes.
  • Vote taken on motion to make a $500 contribution each, to the NC Hurricane Relief effort and the Florida Workers Relief Fund, and to ask each unit to send out a link to unit chairs for members to support these funds. Motion Passes. 

Renters Alliance

  • Matt Losak provides overview of Renters Alliance work and background on support request for $250 sponsorship of the Alliance’s Fourth Annual Building Community Celebration.
  • Gabe Gonzalez motions to table the topic until later in the year, Peter Brusoe seconds. Matt Losak abstains. Motion Passes.

III. Old Business

Credit Card Policy Amendment

  • After further discussion and updates, Steve Cook motions to accept the amended credit policy as listed on the October 24, 2018 EC meeting agenda. Seconded by Mark Pattison and others.
  • Motion made to call the question and vote is taken. Motion Passes. Vote is taken on Steve Cook’s motion to accept credit card policy amendments. Motion Passes.

IV. Executive Director’s and Staff Report

Cet Parks

  • York Dispatch – settlement reached and requests approval of three year agreement. Gabe Gonzalez motions to approve, and Peter Brusoe seconds. Motion Passes.
  • The Real News Network – request approval to file ULP for not honoring contractual tentative agreements. Sam Nelson motions to approve ULP, Mark Gruenberg seconds. Motion Passes. 

Rick Ehrmann

  • National Abortion Federation – request approval of members of the bargaining committee. Sam motions to approve. Matt Losak seconds. Motion Passes.
  • ANA – request approval to arbitrate the Sheila Lindsay termination. Sam Nelson motions and seconded by Don Griesheimer. Vote is taken and Motion Passes.

Paul Reilly

  • BBNA – Request discretionary authority to arbitrate all BBNA grievances outlined in his report. Mark Gruenberg seconds and Peter Brusoe seconds. Motion Passes. 

Eric Geist

  • No action items

Bruce Jett

  • No action items

V. Membership Report

September 15-August 24, 2018, 2018

  • Park Pattison motions to accept. Freddy Kunkle seconds. Motion passed.

VI. EC Minutes and Board Poll

Minutes – September 15, 2018

  • Gabe Gonzalez motions to approve. Mark Pattison seconds. Motion passed.
  • Note to correct spelling of Laura Francis and Gabe Gonzalez names.

Board Poll – October 10, 2018, 2018

  • Steve Cook motions to accept October 10, 2018 Board Poll (BBNA Tee-Shirts). Mark Gruenberg seconds. Steve Cook notes that although EC authorized spending up to $6,000, the actual cost of tee-shirts totaled approximately $4,700. Motion Passes.

VII. Good and Welfare

  • Matt Losak moves to hold next meeting on Saturday, November 17. Mark Pattison Motion Passes.

VIII. Adjournment

  • Matt Losak motions to adjourn, Matt Losak seconds. Motion Passes.
  • Meeting adjourned at 10:05 PM

September 15, 2018 – Executive Council Meeting Minutes

Board Members Present: Elise Bryant, Matt Losak, Gabe Gonzalez, Jazmin Gargoum, Mark Pattinson, Ben Cooper, Sheila Lindsey, Tim Fitzgerald, Robert Struckman, Seth Dietz, Ed Fortney, Dan Gabor, Justin Moyer, Chris Garlock

Staff and Guests Present: Rick Ehrmann, Paul Reilly, Cet Parks, Huidong Cao, Luke Canfora Excused Absence EC members: David DeJesus, Ramon Zepeda, Sam Nelson

Meeting was called to order. Citing the bylaws, which state that the President doesn’t dictate the agenda, Mark made a motion to move “Presiding Over the Meeting” to old business, from “Good and Welfare”. Jazmin Gargoum seconded. Robert Struckman voiced his opposition. There was discussion over moving the topic, and a vote was taken, and the Motion Passed.

I. Financials

August 2018

  • Cet Parks and Tim Fitzgerald provided an update on the August financials.
  • Ben Cooper requested a warning to the EC at any point at which we’d have to liquidate anything. It was confirmed that this is current practice and will continue to be.
  • Matt Losak asked whether we have we considered a line of credit. President Struckman suggested posing that question to the finance committee meeting happening on Tuesday. Jazmin Gargoum questioned when the finance committee meeting had been scheduled and what was done to get notice to anyone in the general membership who wanted to participate. Tim Fitzgerald responded that it had just been set. President Struckman said that he would have Nancy Banks send the notice.
  • There was discussion on the legal fees for Lanetix. Matt Losak motioned to pass the August financials, seconded by Elise Bryant.
  • Tim Fitzgerald brought up the recurring charge on Bob Paul’s bill for discipline of Robert Struckman and questioned why there continue to be charges on a discipline issue that has not been disclosed to the EC, and if his discipline was the reason he has been removed from the DC office.
  • Robert Struckman did not answer questions regarding his discipline issue. Jazmin Gargoum stated that we should be aware of what our dues are paying for, as we are with all discipline issues, and that the President should be held to a higher standard instead of being allowed to cover up what he is being disciplined for.
  • There was more discussion on the issue. Chris Garlock called the question. Motion passed.

July 2018

  • Sheila Lindsay moved to approve the July financials. Matt Losak seconded. Motion to approve July financials

II. New Business

2018 Election & Timeline

  • 2018 election and timeline discussion included pros and cons of mail-in in-house, and whether to use an agency.
  • Cet Parks – DOL wants to meet with officers by The EC needs to decide whether we are using an agency, mail ballot, or other options.
  • Ben Cooper asks can we nominate people at the General Membership without a quorum. Robert Struckman and Cet Parks respond yes, we can nominate by petition, and that is something that is commonly done. Ben Cooper states tentative ERC by October meeting.
  • Gabe Gonzalez states a larger ERC in case anyone is running and needs to step down.
  • Mark Pattison states in terms of precedent, ERC can be elected annually, but we tend to think of it leading up to the election. We should establish establish it now.
  • Rick Ehrmann states his hopes the council puts sufficient weight on the fact that a new unit comes in nearly every month, and its nonstop work for staff in bargaining prep and bargaining, and they won’t be in a position to do much assisting in the election process. If we can bring in a 3rd party, it would likely help getting new units in.
  • Gabe Gonzalez motions to set the ERC in October, with a notice sent to unit leadership on their appointments, and to vote on the election schedule and have definitive costs from outside vendors at that meeting. Seconded by Matt Losak.
  • Further discussion on the motion,  Ben Cooper asks is it possible to lock down some of the dates tentatively on this schedule.
  • Elise Bryant ask to get someone from CWA to do the training for each of our 30 units rather than using an outside vendor.
  • Jazmin Gargoum questions how we reach out to at-large members. Matt Losak suggested that Jazmin should talk to Ed Fortney. Maybe any unit that didn’t attend a meeting should be de facto sent mail-in ballots.
  • Motion Passes to set the ERC in October, with a notice sent to unit leadership on their appointments, and to vote on the election schedule and have definitive costs from outside vendors at that meeting.

III. Old Business

CWA 2018 District 2-13 Local Leadership Conference

  • Matt Losak moves to pass on this. Ben Cooper seconds. Motion passes.

AFT NEROP All Union Fund Request

  • AFT NEROP came to the last meeting and we discussed this with them. We’ve asked them to provide a proposal. They have not done so yet, so we’ll table until they do. Generally, the council is in favor the request, but we’d like to see the proposal.

T-Shirts & Other Items for Organizing

  • Robert Struckman has spoken to different units and done a bit of pricing. He sent a mock-up to BNA, but they haven’t responded yet. He’s priced some out at Mitchell Publishing. Or they can look at a different place. Robert Struckman would propose around $1,000 for a test run with BNA.
  • We want to have a general t-shirt that can be used among all Gabe Gonzalez suggests that we look at our budget and send a proposal to that committee. Union made, American made, two color t-shirts.
  • Elise Bryant made a motion that we do the research, get the proposal, select a vendor, and have the order in for 500 t-shirts by the end of September. Jazmin Gargoum seconded. Motion passes.

Accountability of Officers, Committees and EC Conference

  • Robert Struckman asked to defer his accountability item to the next meeting. Tim Fitzgerald objected. Jazmin Gargoum brought up that at the meeting during which Elise Bryant was presiding – Elise Bryant said we needed to wait for Bob to discuss this issue.
  • Because of that request the EC has waited for Robert Struckman to be present at a meeting to discuss this issue. Jazmin Gargoum asked that since Robert Struckman was here now, we talk about this and get it out of the packet moving forward.
  • Ben Cooper agreed – he and his unit have seen this continually in the packets and they want it out of the packet. Sheila Lindsay concurred. Elise Bryant asked for clarification about whether Robert Struckman was asking to push it down on the agenda or move it to next month. He confirmed that be meant next month. Mark Pattison made a motion for this to be tabled. Tim Fitzgerald seconded. Motion passed.

Front Page Awards

  • Gabe Gonzalez moves to distribute the 2016 Awards the 2017 Guild Service Awards. Jazmin Gargoum seconds. Paul Reilly will contact Mark Grunberg to set the judges. Jazmin Gargoum will organize the event. Motion passes.

Presiding over Meetings

  • Mark Pattison made the following motion: I move that the highest-ranking officer present at the announced meeting site be the one to run the meeting. In the order in which they appear in the WBNG bylaws: president, vice president, treasurer, and Ben Cooper seconded.
  • Cet Parks- how do we get around the bylaws statement that the President presides. Mark Pattison referenced article 13 of the bylaws.
  • Ben Cooper agrees that whoever’s presiding should be Also, we’ve been pretty hung up on technicalities.
  • Matt Losak – spirit of the bylaws is But functionally the person presiding should be physically present. Having it in the bylaws is too much and would create a looseness to the meeting. President should have the discretion to decide who’s running the meeting.
  • Elise Bryant – we should be able to have a functioning meeting as a collective working together.
  • Additional discussion of merits of meetings over the phone vs. in person and why in-person tends to work better. Gabe Gonzalez and Ben Cooper abstain. Robert Struckman and Matt Losak object that this represents a bylaw change. Motion Passes.

IV. Executive Director’s and Staff Report

Rick Ehrmann

  • Washington Post – Request for discretionary authority to arbitrate the improper layoff of Outside Salesperson Janene Daly and the improper layoffs of 3 part-time multiplatform editors Diana Bernard, Matt Moser, and David Reinhold. Matt Losak made a motion to approve, Ben Cooper seconded. Motion Passes.

 Paul Reilly

  • Request for approval of CASA contract. Ben Cooper made a motion to approve, Mark Pattison seconded. Motion Passes.
  • Request for approval of BNA bargaining team. Matt Losak made a motion to approve, Gabe Gonzalez seconded. Motion Passes.

Eric Geist

  • Request for discretionary authority to file a ULP for failure to bargain at APWU. Gabe Gonzalez made a motion to approve. Matt Losak seconded. Motion Passes.
  • Request for retroactive authority to file a ULP against Lambda Legal for firing a member of the bargaining committee. Matt Losak made a motion to approve. Mark Pattison seconded. Motion passed.

V. Membership Report

August 22-September15, 2018

  • Gabe Gonzalez moved to accept. Mark Pattison seconded. Motion passed.

July 18-August 22, 2018

  • Mark Pattison moved to accept. Gabe Gonzalez seconded. Motion passed.

VI. EC Minutes

July 18, 2018

  • Sheila Lindsay moved to approve. Ed Fortney seconded. Motion passed.

August 22, 2018

  • Since there was no quorum for the August meeting and therefore there were not official minutes, Ben made a motion to take the informal notes from the August meeting and addendum to minutes as a reference for future council discussion. Mark Pattison seconded. Motion passed.
  • The EC reviewed the outstanding issues from the August 22, 2018 meeting for anything still requiring action. One item was still outstanding: Retroactive authority to file a ULP at BBNA for failure to provide requested information in a discharge case. Mark Pattison made a motion. Matt Losak seconded. Motion passed.

VII. Board Polls

July 23, 2018

  • Motion made by Jazmin Gargoum on July 23, 2018 and seconded by Steve Cook that Dan Duncan be sent as a delegate to the August 9-11, 2018, VA AFL-CIO State Convention and carry the proxy votes on behalf of Local 32035 WBNG. WBNG will cover his $150 registration fee; additional expenses are already covered. Gabe Gonzalez made a motion to approve. Matt Losak seconded. Motion passed.

August 24, 2018

  • Motion made by Sheila Lindsay on August 23rd and seconded to approve the ratification of the ANA contract, ratified at the unit’s general membership meeting on August 21, 2018. Gabe made a motion to approve. Matt seconded. Motion passed.

August 30, 2018

  • Motion made by Sheila Lindsay on August 29th and seconded by Dan Gabor to request discretionary authority to arbitrate the termination case at ANA for Gauri Shah. Gabe made a motion to approve. Matt seconded. Motion passed.

September 3, 2018

  • Motion made by David DeJesus on September 1st at 8:12pm and seconded by Sheila Lindsay to approve Raw Story three-year contract. Gabe made a motion to approve. Matt seconded. Motion passed.

September 7, 2018

  • Motion made by Jazmin Gargoum on September 6, 2018 and seconded by Matt Losak that the next Executive Council meeting be set for Saturday, September 15th immediately following the General Membership meeting at the Baltimore, MD Guild office. Gabe made a motion to approve. Matt seconded. Motion passed.

Setting the Next Meeting:

  • In order to increase likelihood of meeting quorum, Jazmin Gargoum suggested that we select a few date options at each EC meeting that would then be presented to the EC in a doodle poll. The following date options were given for next meeting: Oct. 16, Oct. 17, Oct. 18, Oct. 23, Oct. 24, Oct. 25.

OPEIU (from New Business)

  • Contract expires November 30, and we need a bargaining committee. The following people agreed to be on the bargaining committee: Robert Struckman, Jazmin Gargoum, Tim Fitzgerald, Cet Parks. Gabe Gonzalez made a motion to approve the committee. Mark seconded. Motion passed.

VIII. Good and Welfare

  • Gabe Gonzalez- OPEIU is picketing on Tuesdays and Thursdays every week. It’s an informational picket during lunch. Guild joined them last week. New unit chair sent Cet Parks an email asking how far we can go in support. They wear black to picket.
  • Shirley Banks had surgery yesterday, but she’s doing fine.
  • Jazmin Gargoum suggested a closed EC meeting to discuss the legal fees coming from Robert Struckman’s disciplinary issues.

IX. Adjournment

  • Gabe Gonzalez made a motion to adjourn. Ben seconded. Motion passed.

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