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.