September 21, 2019 General Membership Meeting

WASHINGTON-BALTIMORE NEWS GUILD
Minutes of General Membership meeting of SEPTEMBER 21, 2019

President Steve Cook (Bloomberg Industries Group) presiding. The number of members meeting in person and on the phone did not meet the quorum of 25.

Minutes: Minutes of the July membership meeting were discussed. No action was taken.

TNG vice presidency: Sheila Lindsay, who won a four-year term in January as Region 2 vice president to TNG’s Sector Executive Council, had her membership on the SEC lapse due to the interruption in her service. Cook said he was asked by the Sector Executive Council if he would serve out the remainder of the term. As per TNG bylaws, the Sector Executive Council may make a choice, but must issue a “call for election” in case others are interested.

Baltimore Sun: Executive Director Cet Parks (at-large) said Sun unit members were prepared to vote Sept. 23 to ratify a contract extension that guarantees raises to them without the draconian takeaways previously proposed by management, and includes a me-too clause so that the Sun-owned Chesapeake Guild unit members — currently bargaining their fist contract — would get the same raise given to Sun members. Sun unit activist Amy Davis said management was trying to pit commercial vs. newsroom workers. Commercial workers felt like they had a target on their back. Solidarity efforts, including the weeklong byline strike, helped.

York Daily Record: Parks said management doesn’t want to give raises, and is proposing only takeaways. The Guild has proposed a one-year extension with a 2 percent bonus.

Real News Network: The unit ratified its first contract unanimously, and the pact was signed Sept. 17. After a management change, management took bargaining seriously. RNN member Jocelyn Dombrowski attended TNG’s New Local Officer Seminar.

Organizing: Membership from Lambda Legal after getting its first contract is at 46. Two satellite offices are in right-to-work states.

League of Conservation Voters: The unit hopes to start bargaining in October.

Center for Popular Democracy: This employer seems to be funneling money to another nonprofit working on related issues — one which WBNG is organizing.

Steward training: WNBG recently conducted steward training for its units higher up the Eastern Seaboard in conjunction with the New York local. A Baltimore-based steward training could draw members from the Sun, York, Chesapeake and Real News Network. The local-wide steward training workshop is set for Sept. 28.

Awards: A reminder was issued to RSVP for the Sept. 26 Front Page and Guild Service Awards reception and ceremony.

The meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,
Mark Pattison (Catholic News Service)
WBNG Executive Council member