February 27, 2019 – Executive Council Meeting

Present:  Elise Bryant, Hau Chu, Steve Cook, Ben Cooper, Lillyanne Daigle, David DeJesus, Lydia Ealey, Tim Fitzgerald, Ed Fortney, Dan Gabor, Don Griesheimer, Mark Gruenberg, LaTisha Harvey, Fatima Hussein, Fred Kunkle, Katie Mettler, Justin Moyer, Sam Nelson, Bryan Nelson, Bill O’Meara, Mark Pattison, Ben Soloway, Jeremy Sprinkle, Carolyn Steptoe, Robert Struckman, Michelle Wang

Staff & Guests:  Rick Ehrmann, Cet Parks, Paul Reilly

I. Membership Report 

  • Mark Gruenberg motions to approve report and seconded by Justin Moyer.  Motion Passes.

II. Executive Director’s & Staff Report

Cet Parks

  • RFA – arbitration preparations are continuing on Huidong Cao arbitration
  • UFCW – UFCW rescinded Brian O’Konski’s notice of unsatisfactory performance after EC gave approval to arbitrate.
  • Advancement Project – request discretionary authority to arbitrate managements pro-rated salary increase.  Mark Gruenberg motions to approve, seconded by Justin Moyer.  Motion passes.
  • NLOS Officer’s Seminar – Requests discretionary authority to use the Darlene Meyer Fund to send newly elected officers to training session, up to $6K for training expenses.  Justin Moyer motions to approve, seconded by Mark Pattison.  Motion Passes.

Staff Report

  • Rick Ehrmann, Paul Reilly Eric Geist. Bruce Jett – no action items.

III. Minutes

  • December 19, 2018 and January 31, 2019 Minutes – After minor corrections, Executive Council motions to approve and seconded by many.  
  • Motion passes to approve December 19, 2018 and January 31, 2019 minutes.

IV. Financials

  • FY 18 Audited Financial Statements – Bill Monroe moved to next meeting.  Cet Parks reviews revenue report.

V. Old Business

  • Sector Council Report – Motion from Freddy to accept and Justin Moyer seconds.  Motion passes.

VI. New Business

Appeal of ERC – Fitzgerald – Ed Fortney Question

  • Robert Struckman discusses his appeal, followed by discussion.
  • Justin Moyer called question to close debate and vote on the issue, seconded by Hau Chu.  Motion passes.
  • Bryan Nelson motions to overturn the ERC decision on Small Units Election and unseat Tim Fitzgerald, seconded by Freddy Kunkle.  Motion fails.

Joel Gratz Email

  • Discussion by many regarding election communication failures from the Guild and formal apology for providing incorrect information 
  • Mark Gruenberg motions to issue formal apology to Joel Gratz, Nancy Banks and Elise Bryant, seconded by Mark Pattison. Justin Moyer calls the question, seconded by Hau Chu. Motion Passes
  • Additional questions on updated minutes for November GMM were addressed.

Save the Date Labor Notes Conference 2020

  • No action taken

TNG-CWA President’s Election

  • Cet Parks discusses upcoming TNG President’s election and balloting process.  Motion made by Mark Gruenberg for WBNG to use TNG resources to mail election ballots to members.  Mark Pattison seconds.  Motions Passes.
  • Bill O’Meara – speaks to TNG Growth Fund initiative funding issues and requests to speak on the issue at the next EC meeting.

VII. Personnel Caucus

  • Cet Parks discusses tentative agreement on recent employee contract negotiations, including comp time cash outs, wage increases, vacation, holidays, health insurance, education allowances, severance pay language, transit and cell phone expenses, leave, life insurance and contract terms.
  • Mark Gruenberg motions to approve professional staff employee contract tentative agreement, seconded by Justin Moyer.  Motion Passes.


  • Motion to adjourn meeting and seconded by many.  Motion passes and meeting is adjourned at 9:20 PM.

January 31, 2019 – Executive Council Meeting

Present:  Jeremy Sprinkle, Lydia Ealey, Bill O’ Meara, Ed Fortney, Tamara McCalla, Bryan Nelson, Joel Gratz, David DeJesus, Michelle Wang, Sam Nelson, Mark Gruenberg, Don Griesheimer, Mark Pattison, Rick Ehrmann, Tim Fitzgerald, LaTisha Harvey, Paul Reilly, Fatima Hussein, Hau Chu, Jazmin Gargoum, Cet Parks, Justin Moyer, Steve Cook

I. Financials

Slevin & Hart, P.C. Invoice

  • Review of invoice from pension attorney regarding BNA bargaining.  No action necessary.

Baratz and Associates Invoice

  • Tim Fitzgerald – (as treasurer at that time) I refuse to sign off on Baratz payment because it was not what the membership asked for.  Membership had approved a motion for a forensic audit up to $10,000 and to select a company that would do this.  Baratz was selected, and stated this was not an audit, but instead a list of services former President Struckman had asked for.  
  • Since it did not meet the criteria of what the membership had mandated us to do, Baratz, officers and EC were told by Treasurer Fitzgerald that he would not sign off on this as treasurer.
  • Cet Park discusses that he did an annotated response to Baratz services.  Services were performed under WBNG and that they should be paid for the work we ask providers to do and prepared to approve payment.
  • Steve Cook – my understanding that Cet has the authority to pay the invoice and EC would have to act to deny it.
  • Tim disagrees and restates that no one approved this list of services – membership approved an audit.  We specifically asked Baratz if this was an audit and they said no.  Tim explained to Baratz that he would not sign off unless he received authorization from EC or the membership.  Additional discussions follow.
  • Mark Pattison motions that we pay the bill as presented by Baratz, seconded by Elise Bryant.  Additional discussion by other EC members follow.  
  • Justin Moyer calls the previous question to close the debate.  Motion to call question passes.
  • Motion passes to pay the Baratz invoice for $7,500.
  • Steve Cook recommends that the EC study the Baratz findings for further action to take if necessary, in future meetings.

Contract Extensions for Eric Geist/Bruce Jett

  • Cet discusses merits of extending the contracts for Eric Geist and Bruce Jet, and recommends contract extensions to continue the organizing momentum.
  • Cet requests a 13 week extension beginning February 4, 2019, through May 3, 2019.  Mark Gruenberg motions to extend the contract, seconded by Mark Pattison.  Motion passes to extend Eric Geist and Bruce Jett contracts.

II. New Business

Election Period Campaigning

  • No action/discussions

TNG New Local Officers Seminar

  • Cet Parks requests discretionary authority to send 12 officers to seminar – six local and six commuters (two spots are guaranteed).  Proposes that we pay for the seminar through the Darlene Meyer Education Fund, so it will not have a negative impact on our budget.  Additional discussion followed.
  • Motion presented and seconded by all to allow Cet Parks discretionary authority to send 12 officers to TNG New Local Officers seminar and financed through the Darlene Meyer Education Fund.  Motion passes.

UFCW Expense Grievance

  • Addressed in GMM meeting

Sector Conference Report

  • Discussion moves to next EC meeting

2019 Evening With Labor

  • Cet Parks/Rick Ehrmann discusses that this is most important DC Labor event, and our Local has been recognized.  
  • Participation via program ad and purchase of table to send new officers.  Steve Cook asks which budget line item this event will be funded from.   
  • Sam Nelson motions to purchase a table for 10 persons and a half-page ad, seconded by Elise Bryant.  Motion passes.

2019 DC Labor Fest

  • After discussion, Sam Nelson motions to support through a quarter-page ad for $250, seconded by Mark Gruenberg.
  • Jazmin Gargoum proposes hosting social event/happy hour at event, and Steve Cook encourages support of idea.
  • Motion passes to support 2019 Labor Fest through a quarter-page ad for $250.

NC State AFL-CIO Per Capita Increase and Thank You

  • Jeremy Sprinkle discusses no increase – no action needed.  Requests completion of Affiliate Membership Information Update Form. 

CSA Emergency Assistance Relief Program

  • Cet Parks/Mark Gruenberg and others discuss.  Mark Pattison moves to support CSA through contribution of $300, seconded by Mark Gruenberg.  Motion passes to support CSA through contribution of $300.

EC Meeting Dates

  • President Cook discusses developing a calendar of EC meeting dates for the full year.  Discussion by Jazmin Gargoum to requests consideration of setting meeting dates at each meeting, with the intent to have the largest number of people to attend to have quorum, by setting dates quarterly or monthly. 
  • Discussed setting dates that will allow piggy backing General Membership dates.  Third Wednesday of each month was recommended.  
  • Mark Pattison motions to accept third Wednesday of month for EC meetings, beginning February 2019, seconded by Mark Gruenberg.  Additional discussion by Jazmin Gargoum, LaTisha Harvey and others on concerns and procedures for properly informing members of meeting dates.  Steve Cook suggests putting forward a plan to address these concerns through committee in future meetings.
  • Motion passes to approve EC Meetings on third Wednesday of month beginning February 2019 except when there is a General Membership meeting.

III.    Membership Report 

Dec 19 – Jan 31, 2019

  • Cet discusses.  Stats will be in next EC Meeting Packet.  Dave DeJesus motions to approve, seconded by Mark Pattison.  Motion passes to approve membership report.

IV. EC Minutes 

November 17, 2018

  • Mark Pattison moves to adopt minutes, seconded by many.  Motion passes to adopt minutes.

Small Unit & Members Meeting Minutes

  • Ed Fortney discusses concerns regarding nomination of Tim Fitzgerald for Small Units and withdrawal from Treasurer campaign.
  • Tim Fitzgerald discusses actions he took to suspend his campaign for Treasurer position.
  • Joel Gratz questions how you can accept nominations for two offices
  • Justin Moyer motions to call question to refer the issue to the ERC, seconded by many.  Additional discussions follow.  Motion passes to call question.
  • Motion passes to refer issue to ERC.
  • Ed Fortney and Tim Fitzgerald are requested to submit their positions on the issue to the ERC.  Tim Fitzgerald and Tammy to remain on council until the issue is resolved.

V. Good & Welfare

  • Jazmin Gargoum requests that we go beyond 15 days required to send a mailing in an attempt to be better about emailing information out to small unit members to have a better presence at meetings.
  • Ed Fortney responds in agreement and that there is a need to increase turn out at these meetings.  Would like to call a small unit meeting in next few months to dress the issue.  Ed and Jazmin agree to work together to come up with ideas and possible solutions.

VI. Adjournment

  • Mark Pattison motions to adjourn seconded by Mark Gruenberg.  Meeting adjourns at 9:55 PM

VII.    Personnel Caucus

  • Staff Union contract is up for Paul and Rick – committee established to review contract will include Cet Parks, Steve Cook, Tim Fitzgerald, Peter Brusoe, Justin Moyer and Elise Bryant.


JANUARY 9, 2019 – General Membership Meeting

Present: Ed Fortney (SEIU Local 500), chair; Mark Pattison, Catholic News Service; Cet Parks, at-large; Tim Fitzgerald, American Postal Workers Union; Benjamin Soloway, Nina Goodman, Elias Groll, Foreign Policy; Carolyn Steptoe, Advancement Project.

On conference call: Christine Monk, Bryan Nelson, Jeffrey Ball, John Westerberg, Richard Halfacre, Tamara McCalla, Heidi Hanson, HPAE; Mark Gruenberg, at-large.

Under WBNG membership totals at the time of the Dec. 10 mailing, the Small Units and Members were entitled to nine Executive Council delegates for 2019-20.

Nominations for officers, delegates and alternates were made at the meeting.

Pattison moved, Goodman seconded authorizing the naming of nine delegates and nine alternates. Motion carried.

For unit chair:
Mark Pattison nominated Ed Fortney (SEIU Local 500).
Nina Goodman nominated Benjamin Soloway (Foreign Policy).
Tim Fitzgerald nominated Carolyn Steptoe (Advancement Project).
Carolyn Steptoe nominated Tim Fitzgerald (American Postal Workers Union).

Those at the meeting discussed the propriety of Fitzgerald possibly serving as unit chair as he is also a candidate for WBNG treasurer. Fitzgerald said that, if elected as treasurer, he would not serve and allow the Executive Council to select a successor. He added he would send an email to that effect before the day was out.

After the clearing of apparent confusion that the nominations being made were for unit chair, the nominations for Soloway, Steptoe and Fitzgerald were withdrawn. There being no other nominations, Fortney was elected by acclamation.

For unit vice chair:
Mark Pattison nominated Sam Nelson (Jobs With Justice). There being no other nominations, Nelson was elected by acclamation.

For delegates:
Nina Goodman nominated Benjamin Soloway (Foreign Policy).
Tim Fitzgerald nominated Carolyn Steptoe (Advancement Project).
Carolyn Steptoe nominated Tim Fitzgerald (American Postal Workers Union). Mark Gruenberg nominated Mark Pattison (Catholic News Service).
John Westerberg nominated Bryan Nelson (HPAE).
Cet Parks nominated Bill O’Meara (at-large).
Bryan Nelson nominated Tamara McCalla (HP AE).
Mark Pattison nominated Mark Gruenberg (at-large).
Ed Fortney nominated Jeremy Sprinkle (North Carolina AFL-CIO).

There being nine nominations for seven remaining delegate slots, WBNG office staff was deputed to recalculate the number of WBNG members who qualify for being in the Small Units and Members. The answer came back: 501.

Pattison moved, Goodman seconded authorizing 10 delegates and 10 alternates. Motion carried.

There being nine nominations for eight remaining delegate slots, McCalla declined her nominatiom. The remaining nominees were elected by acclamation.

For alternates, ,who in the case of vacancy are to be asked in the order in which they are nominated:
Bryan Nelson nominated Tamara McCalla (HP AE).
Carolyn Steptoe nominated Andrew Ambrogie (Advancement Project).
Tim Fitzgerald nominated Jazmin Gargoum (at-large).
Mark Pattison nominated Seth Dietz, (SEIU Local 500).
Mark Pattison :nominated Chris Garlock, (D.C. AFL-CIO).
Mark Pattison nominated Ramon Zepeda (Student Action for Farmworkers). Mark Pattison-nominated Keith Barnes (at-large).
Mark Pattison nominated Liz Evans (York Dispatch).
Mark Pattison nominated Ryan Mariatague (Working America).
Mark Pattison nominated Sally Davidow (at-large).
Tim Fitzgerald nominated Ashley See, but withdrew the nomination.

The 10 nominees were elected by acclamation.

The meeting was adjourned.

December 19, 2018 – Executive Council Meeting

Present:  The following Board Members were present either in person or by telephone, which constituted a quorum: 

Peter Brusoe, Elise Bryant, Steve Cook, Dave DeJesus, Seth Dietz, Tim Fitzgerald, Ed Fortney, Dan Gabor, Gabe Gonzalez, Joel Gratz, Mark Gruenberg, Fred Kunkle, Sheila Lindsay, Matt Losak, Justin Moyer, Mark Pattison, Bob Struckman

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

Excused: Jazmin Gargoum, Sam Nelson

Meeting was called to order at 7:10 PM. 

I. New Business

Censure of Treasurer Tim Fitzgerald

  • Steve Cook motions to remove censure of Treasurer Tim Fitzgerald from the December 19, 2018 meeting agenda.  Seconded by Dave DeJesus.  Discussion by many followed.
  • Bob Struckman as chair who originally created the censure item, has elected to remove it from the agenda.
  • Question was called on discussion. Gabe Gonzalez motions and seconded by Mark Gruenberg.  Motion to call the question passes.
  • Motion passes to remove Censure of Treasurer, Tim Fitzgerald from the agenda.

II. Financials

Summary of Financial Highlights – November 2018

  • Cet Parks provides a recap of November financials.  Mark Pattison moves to accept and seconded by Gabe Gonzalez.  Motion passes to approve November financials.

 October 2018 and Bob Paul Invoice

  • Cet Parks provides recap, including Slevin & Hart pension attorneys update.  Gabe Gonzalez motions to accept October 2018 and Bob Paul invoice, seconded by many.  Motion passes.

III. New Business

NOVA Delegate Request

  • Peter Brusoe motions to accept Don Slaiman as NOVA delegate, seconded by Mark Gruenberg.  Motion passes to accept Don Slaiman as NOVA delegate.

NY Pride (National Pride)

  • Gabe Gonzales speaks to issue.  Peter Brusoe motions for WBNG will support NY Pride with a $750 investment in organizing. Seconded by Matt Losak.  Motion passes.

Organizing Campaign Confidentiality

  • Cet discuses Bruce Jett’s report on issue that one of Bruce’s campaign details confidentiality may have been unintentionally breached.  Further discussion regarding importance of maintaining confidentiality of organizing.  

Baratz and Associates Audit Report

  • Fred Kunkle motions to accept the report.  Seconded by Peter Brusoe.   
  • Freddy proposes to accept with suggestions of friendly amendments (i.e., to appoint a committee to look into key areas of report, make additional recommendations). 
  • Motion passes to accept the Baratz Report in the spirit of the preceding discussions listed above. 
  • Peter Brusoe discusses recommendations/written responses from Executive Director on report items with recommendations/responses.
  • Matt Losak suggests EC involvement in response to Executive Director’s written response to the Baratz report.  Additional discussion regarding highlighting key issues (per diem, lost time, etc.).

Email Regarding Bookkeeper Interview (Amber Blado)

  • Bob Struckman provides general background and overview of the issue.  Important to note that this is an allegation of misconduct, and not proof of misconduct.  Raises issues how are to articulate our values and to respond procedurally.
  • Cet Parks provides background for context and further discussions and suggestions made by Matt Losak, Peter Brusoe, Joel Gratz, Freddy Kunkle, Tim Fitzgerald, Elise Bryant, Sheila Lindsay and others.  Agreement that procedures, best practices and establishment of policies are needed to minimize disputes, misunderstandings and complaints.

CWA Constitution, Article 19

  • Related to the Tim Fitzgerald censure item and was removed from this agenda.

Setting EC Meeting Dates Via Doodle Poll

  • Elise Bryant (Jazmin Gargoum) motions to change our current practice of setting meeting dates.
  • Motion is seconded by Mark Gruenberg.  Additional discussion followed.  Motion fails to change current practice of setting meeting dates.

IV. Old Business

  • None

V. Executive Director’s Report & Staff

Cet Parks

  • CLC Contract – Request approval to approve the national CLC contract.  Gabe Gonzalez moves to approve national contract, seconded by Mark Gruenberg.  Motion passes.

Rick Ehrmann

  • ANA – Requests discretionary authority to arbitrate the Florence Nampera termination case.  Motion made by Matt Losak to approve request for discretionary authority to arbitrate the case and seconded by Gabe Gonzalez.  Motion passes.

Paul Reilly

  • No action items

Eric Geist

  • No action items

Bruce Jett

  • No action items

VI. Membership Report

November 17-Dec. 19, 2018

  • Gabe Gonzales motions to approve membership report, seconded by Peter Brusoe.  Motion passes.

VII. EC Minutes

November 17, 2018

  • Peter Brusoe motions to approve, seconded by Gabe Gonzales.  Motion passes.

VII. Good & Welfare

  • Robert Struckman commends Gabe Gonzales for his outstanding work on Lambda Legal

IX. Personnel Caucus    

  • Cet Park discusses Nancy Banks and Shirley Cherry contract. Committee came to agreement on every item discussed.  
  • Cet Parks provides overview of key changes – approves Nancy Banks carryover gap, allow employees to work flexible schedules, 2.5% raise and annex, Nancy Banks upgrade to office manager position, correction to bereavement leave, severance updates, parking increases and seat trip increases, LTD will explore options at a later date, approve $25 monthly phone reimbursement,
  • Peter Brusoe motions to adopt changes as Cet described, seconded by Mark Gruenberg.  Motion passes.

X. Adjournment

  • Gabe Gonzales motions to adjourn, seconded by Peter Brusoe.  Motion passes and meeting is adjourned at 9:20 PM.
  • Next EC Meeting scheduled for January 31, 2019 – 7 PM at WBNG offices


November 17, 2018 – General Membership Meeting

Present:  Unknown

I. GMM Minutes

September 15, 2018 Minutes

  • Minutes were not available for this meeting.

II. Officer’s Reports

  • No reports were submitted for this meeting

III. New Business

Nominations of Local Officers and At-Large Officers

The following individuals were nominated for the following positions for
Local Officers:

  • For the office of President:   Steve Cook, BBNA
  • For the office of Vice President:  Elise Bryant, At-Large
  • For the office of Treasurer:  Tim Fitzgerald, APWU, Justin Moyer, Washington Post
  • For the office of Secretary:  Dave DeJesus, Washington Post, Joel Gratz, AFL-CIO

The following individuals were nominated for the following positions for the five At Large seats:

  • Hau Chu, Washington Post, Jazmin Gargoum, At-Large, Joel Gratz; AFL-CIO, Gabe Gonzalez, AFL-CIO, LaTisha Harvey, BBNA, Fatima Hussein, BBNA, Sheila Lindsay, ANA, Matt Losak, At-Large, Katie Mettler, Washington Post, Robert Struckman, AFL-CIO, and Michelle Wang, RFA

Nominations of Delegates and Alternates for TNG Sector Conference and CWA Convention

The following delegates were also nominated to attend the 2019 TNG-CWA Sector Conference. The General Membership elected to send 10 delegates:

  • Elise Bryant, Steve Cook, David DeJesus, Tim Fitzgerald, Joel Gratz, Mark Gruenberg, Sheila Lindsay, Justin Moyer, Cet Parks, Mark Pattison

The following delegates were nominated to attend the 2019 CWA Convention. The General Membership elected to send seven delegates:

  • Steve Cook, Elise Bryant, David DeJesus, Tim Fitzgerald, Joel Gratz, Justin Moyer, Cet Parks

E&R Committee

The following members were nominated to serve on the 2019 – 2020 Election & Referendum Committee:

  • Peter Brusoe, BBNA, Amanda Erickson, Washington Post, Tiffany Heath, AFL-CIO, Amy Lampkin, AFL-CIO, Tammy Madison, BBNA, Sam Nelson, JWJ, Mark Pattison, CNS
  • Nancy Banks will send out notification to all nominees who will have 7 days to respond to their acceptance or declining of said nominations.

IV. Adjournment

  • The next GM meeting is to be held Thursday, January 31 @7pm in the DC office.