October 21, 2020 EC Meeting

Washington-Baltimore News Guild

Executive Council Meeting Minutes

Date of Meeting: October 21, 2020

Present: Elise Bryant, Peter Brusoe, Carl Charles, Hau Chu, Steve Cook, David DeJesus, Tim Fitzgerald, Ed Fortney, Jazmin Gargoum, Joel Gratz, Don Griesheimer, Fatima Hussein, Tom Jackman, Freddy Kunkle, Marissa Lang, Katie Mettler, Justin Moyer, Sam Nelson, Bill O’Meara, Mark Pattison, Jeremy Sprinkle, Emily Woodall

Excused: Mark Gruenberg, Scott Reynolds

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

Meeting called to order at 7:04 PM

I.  Minutes

September 26, 2020 – Don Griesheimer motioned to approve minutes and seconded by Mark Pattison. Motion Passed.

Board Poll (Charlotte Observer Organizing) – Jeremy Sprinkle motioned to approve poll and seconded by Sam Nelson. Motion Passed.

II.  Membership Report

September 26, 2020 – October 20, 2020. Peter Brusoe motioned to approve and seconded Don Griesheimer. Motion Passed.

III.  Executive Director’s Report & Staff

Cet Parks

SEIU Local 500 – Cet Parks requested retroactive approval to file ULP regarding over changes in working conditions. Ed Fortney motioned to approve request and seconded by Peter Brusoe. Motion Passed.

SEIU Local 500 – Cet Parks requested retroactive approval for ULP for union discrimination against unit chair Edward Fortney. Peter Brusoe motioned to approve and seconded by Don Griesheimer. Motion Passed.

Working America – Cet Parks requested retroactive authority to arbitrate for Marc Blessen. Emily Richards added additional background on the matter. Ed Fortney motioned to approve, seconded by Sam Nelson. Motion Passed.

America Votes – CWA District 7 from Denver, CO requested WBNG assistance to organize this new unit. AV is based in Washington, DC and has organizers across in critical elections states. Cet Parks requested discretionary authority to organize this unit. Mark Pattison motioned to approve and seconded by Ed Fortney. Motion Passed.

Bristol Herald Carrier – A new unit from Bristol, VA. Cet Parks requested discretionary authority to organize this unit. Sam Nelson motioned to approve and seconded by Elise Bryant. Motion Passes.

Atlanta Magazine – A new unit from Atlanta, GA with up to 22 members. Cet Parks requested discretionary authority to organize. Katie Mettler motioned to approve, and the motion was seconded. Motion Passes.

Rick Ehrmann

No action items.

Paul Reilly

Catholic News Service – Paul Reilly requested approval of CNS bargaining team (Mark Pattison, Anna Capizzi, Paul Reilly). Peter Brusoe motioned to approve and seconded by Don Griesheimer. Motion Passed.

Change to Win – Paul Reilly requested approval of CTW bargaining team (Kathleen Ma, Nashwa Al-Sharki, Emma Bayes, George Faraday, Cynthia Simon and Paul Reilly.  Motion Passed.

Eric Geist

Jewish Voice For Peace – Eric Geist requested approval of bargaining team (Lena Ghannan, Emma Liss, Reuben Telushkin). Peter Brusoe motioned to approve, seconded by Ed Fortney. Motion Passed.

Bruce Jett

No action items

IV.  Financials

August 2020 Summary of Financial Highlights

Cet Parks presented a summary of financial highlights for the period ending August 31, 2020 and requested board approval. Don Griesheimer motioned to approve and seconded by Peter Brusoe. Motion Passed.

Fiscal 2021 Budget – Budget Motion

Justin Moyer motioned that the budget be approved, and the Executive Director, the four officers and four other EC members (who are appointed through a vote of the full Executive Council) shall develop a detailed business plan for FY 2021-2022 with budget showing a balanced budget and a 3-year strategic plan setting priorities and goals for the local to be submitted to the Executive Council by December 1, 2020, given our continued deficit spending. The motion was seconded by Peter Brusoe.

After further discussion, the Motion Passed to approve the FY 2021 budget and establish a planning committee for the FY 2021/22 3-year strategic plan.

A board poll will be conducted to request participation of EC members interested in serving on the strategic planning committee.

Bob Paul Invoices

No action required.

Expenses

No action required.

V.  Old Business

Scott Reynolds

Elise Bryant motioned to approve the reimbursement of Scott Reynolds expenses ($100) for AFL-CIO State Convention. After further discussion Peter Brusoe offered friendly amendment to reimburse upon receipt of report from Scott. Elise Bryant declined the friendly amendment. Motion Passed.

VI.  New Business

Conflict of Interest

Peter Brusoe speaks to adoption of the revised version of the conflict of interest policy for executive council members in the awarding of contracts, reimbursing expenses, or spending union funds. Bill O’ Meara suggests modifying language to reflect “what you know about” in terms of disclosure. After further discussion, the language was amended to state “Executive council members who ‘knowingly’ have a personal financial interest…”

Bill O’Meara motions to table the discussion until the language can be vetted by the local’s attorney to ensure it meets DOL requirements. The motion was seconded and voted upon. The vote was called in favor of approving the motion. Peter Brusoe called for a roll call vote. The Motion Passed 16-2.

VII.  Good & Welfare

Rick Ehrmann retirement announcement – Ed Fortney motions to formally recognize Rick’s retirement and was seconded by Tom Jackman. Rick thanks the executive council for all his years with the Guild and working for a wonderful union. Motion Unanimously Passed.

Peter Brusoe motions to appoint a Rick Ehrmann Appreciation Party Committee and come back to the council with a budget proposal. The motion was seconded. Motion Passed.

VIII.  Personnel Caucus

Hiring a representative to replace Rick Ehrmann. President Steve Cook discussed establishment of search committee which includes Steve Cook, Dave DeJesus, Fatima Hussein, Katie Mettler, Don Griesheimer, Dina Kastner, Joe Yearadi and Cet Parks. Elise Bryant motioned, and motion was seconded. Motion Passes.

IX.  Adjournment

Peter Brusoe motioned to adjourn and was seconded. Meeting adjourned at 9:17 PM.

September 26, 2020 General Membership Meeting

Washington-Baltimore News Guild

General Membership Meeting Minutes

Date of Meeting: September 26, 2020

Present: Elise Bryant, Peter Brusoe, Carl Charles, Steve Cook, David DeJesus, Tim Fitzgerald, Ed Fortney, Jazmin Gargoum, Joel Gratz, Don Griesheimer, Mark Gruenberg, Fatima Hussein, Tom Jackman, Katie Mettler, Justin Moyer, Sam Nelson, Bill O’Meara, Mark Pattison, Jeremy Sprinkle, Michelle Wang

Excused: Marissa Lang, Scott Reynolds

Staff & Guests: Rick Ehrmann, Bruce Jett, Cet Parks, Paul Reilly, Caitlin Wilson (AFP), Dina Kastner (NASW)

Meeting called to order at 10:00 AM and a quorum was met.

I.  Minutes

July 18, 2020 – Peter Brusoe motioned to approve and was seconded by Mark Pattison. Motion Passed.

September 3, 2020 Special Membership Meeting – Elise Bryant motioned to approve and seconded by Tim Fitzgerald. Motion Passed.

II.  Membership Report (from EC Report)

August 19, 2020 – September 25, 2020. on Griesheimer motioned to approve and seconded Peter Brusoe. Motion Passed.

III.  Officer’s Report

President Steve Cook – Gave update on Pittsburgh Gazette unit preparations to strike. TNG proceeding with Save The News Campaign. Additional discussion on sexual harassment/allegations and how they are handled within labor unions.

Vice President Elise Brant – None

IV.  New Business

Nomination of E&R Committee

Fatima Hussein nominates Tammy Madison (Bloomberg), Mallory Brangan (Post), Nena Taub (Lambda Legal). Joel Gratz nominate Luke Canfora.

According to bylaws there can only be three members appointed to serve on the ERC, by the Executive Council. President Steve Cook deferred the ERC appointments until the next EC meeting.

Nominations of Officers

Nominations were made for officers and Executive Council. President Steve Cook nominates for officer’s Fatima Hussein (President), Katie Mettler (VP), Dave DeJesus (Secretary), Justin Moyer (Treasurer). There were no other nominations for President, Vice President and Secretary. President Cook announces petition period for additional nominations for those not in attendance during the General Membership meeting.

Isaac Gobern nominates Joel Gratz (AFL-CIO) for Treasury.

Nominations for Executive Council Delegates

Fatima Hussein nominates Peter Brusoe (Bloomberg), Sarah Adkisson (Bloomberg), Jason Albright (Bloomberg), Marissa Lang (Post), Tom Jackman (Post), Hau Chu (Post), Freddy Kunkle (Post), Joe Yearadi (CPI), Pratheek Rebala (CPI), Sam Nelson (JwJ), Carl Charles (Lambda Legal), Michelle Wang (RFA), Nina Goldman (FP), Mark Pattison (CNS), Lily Reed (Sun), Dan Gabor (AFL-CIO), Graham Fortier (AFL-CIO), Steve Cook (Unaffiliated), Elise Bryant (Unaffiliated), Jeremy Sprinkle (AFL-CIO NC).

Kent Anderson (LCV) nominates Emily Woodall (LCV) and Sacha Heyman (LCV).

Joel Gratz nominates Grace Sheedy (AFL-CIO) and Isaac Gobern (AFL-CIO)

Maya Goins nominates Joel Gratz (AFL-CIO).

Don Griesheimer (ANA) nominates himself.

Mark Gruenberg nominates Jazmin Gargoum (Unaffiliated).

Caroline Reed nominates Indigo Oliver (ITT).

Nominees Accepting (At GM Meeting)

Fatima Hussein, Katie Mettler, David DeJesus, Justin Moyer, Tom Jackman, Peter Brusoe, Sarah Adkisson, Jason Albright, Joe Yearadi, Pratheek Rebala, Sam Nelson, Carl Charles, Michelle Wang, Mark Pattison, Lily Reed, Dan Gabor, Graham Fortier, Steve Cook, Steve Cook, Elise Bryant, Jeremy Sprinkle, Jazmin Gargoum, Isaac Gobern, Grace Sheedy, Emily Woodall, Sacha Heyman, Indigo Oliver, Don Griesheimer.

Joel Gratz defers accepting and will confirm during portioning period for either Treasure or Delegate slot.

V.  Old Business

None

VI.  Executive Director & Staff Reports (from EC Report)

Cet Parks

FL AFL-CIO – Cet Parks requested discretionary authority to arbitrate or file a ULP regarding the Mike Stovall termination, for improperly seeking out Covid-19 test before returning to work. Peter Brusoe motioned to approve request for arbitration, seconded by Peter Brusoe. Motion Passed.

The State – TNG – Cet Parks requested discretionary authority to organize The State newspaper in Columbia, SC (a McClatchy Publication) with 37 employees. The State is a sister publication to The Island Packet News in SC which is also seeking recognition to organize. Mark Gruenberg motioned to approve the request to organize The State, seconded by Peter Brusoe. After further discussion (Joel Gratz TNG funding cuts) the Motion Passed.

Verso – Cet Parks requested retroactive authority to organize Verso, a book publishing company headquartered in London and with offices in Brooklyn, NY. Jeremy Sprinkle motioned to approve, and the motion was seconded by Peter Brusoe. After further discussion (Bill O’Meara, Peter Brusoe, Don Griesheimer concerns on unit size and NY location, Mark Gruenberg on bargaining logistics/UK parent). The Motion Passed.

MassLive – Cet Parks requested authority to organize MassLive, an on-line media organization representing 12-15 employees who are experiencing horrible working conditions. Peter Brusoe motioned to approve, and the motion was seconded by Mark Gruenberg. After further discussion the Motion Passed.

Rick Ehrmann

In These Times – Rick Ehrmann requests approval of bargaining committee members Jamie Hendry, Hamilton Nolan and Miles Lawson. Don Griesheimer motioned to approve and seconded by Bill O’ Meara. Motion Passed.

NASW – Dina Kastner is asking for council approval to repurpose its approved $200 monthly luncheon budget for membership meetings which is going unused due to Covid-19. The unit wants to donate the funds to the Capital Area Food Bank. The amount to date is $1,200 (6 months).

Mark Pattison motioned to approve the NASW $1,200 donation, representing six months of unused lunches, to the Capital area Food Bank. The motion was seconded by Jeremy Sprinkle. Mark Gruenberg offered a friendly amendment to continue the monthly donations for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic, which was accepted by Mark Pattison and Dina Kastner. After further discussions, Mark Gruenberg withdraws his friendly amendment. After a roll call vote the Motion Failed.

Paul Reilly

American Prospect – Paul Reilly requested approval of JWJ bargaining team Alex Sammon, Marcia Brown and Brittany Gibson. Jeremy Sprinkle motioned to approve and seconded by Bill O’Meara. Motion Passed.

Eric Geist

No action items.

Bruce Jett

Broward County Legal Services (Miami, FL) – Bruce Jett requested discretionary authority to organize this non-profit unit of 80 employees. Peter Brusoe motioned to approve the organizing effort, seconded by Carl Charles. After further discussion the motion was voted on and the Motion Passed.

VII.  Financials

Credit Card Expenses

Peter Brusoe motions to approve financials, seconded by Elise Bryant. Luke Canfora (AFL-CIO) believes it is bad practice to approve credit card expenses without everyone having opportunity to review. Cet explains that information is usually provided for members to view and not to approve. Maya Goins states its good practice to review and not to approve.

Cet Parks clarifies that credit card expenses are generally in the financial reports and will be considered in EC Meeting.

VIII.  Good & Welfare

Joel Gratz – discusses Surreta Smith, candidate for state legislator in GA – asks how can we do more substantive actions which are supportive to her campaign.

Front Page Awards – Peter Brusoe updates on FP Awards – will be held remotely on October 8, 2020 from 7 PM-9 PM, hosted by Katie Mettler and Fatima Hussein.

Joel Brooks (HPAE) – question on vacancy for one of unit co-chairs and process on how to fill that seat. Cet Parks explains process – all officers subject to election in January; Steve and Cet to discuss process with Joel after this meeting.

Isaac Gobern – speaks to Joel Gratz’s support on Surreta Smith – phone banking and contributions.

Mark Gruenberg – speaks to ways to support Surreta Smith. Mark’s news service included a story about Surreta Smith. Several ways to help her out (AFL-CIO), AFGE local 1017 president for eight years, or go to her campaign website.

Luke Canfora – requested additional information on Green Zone policies – additional explanation provided by President Steve Cook (actions regarding local’s endorsement of political candidates). Cet provided additional info on purpose of Green Zone policy.

Carl Charles – comments by Isaac Gobern and Joel Gratz represents an opportunity for units that are not journalism based to take action and collaborate on ways to support agendas and issues in units not obliged by Green Zone policy.

Maya Goins– shares perspective on Green Zone and support for Black female union sibling Surreta Smith. Alfonso Novadi – odd that we have handcuffed ourselves as a union in terms of endorsements when newspapers where our members work have no problems making endorsements. If media organizations we work for have found a way to cover political candidates and endorsements that is above criticism, then guild should be able to do so.

Fatima Hussein – feels there are things the local can do to address systemic racism, and other similar issues, there is opportunity to meet in the middle to address issues that will not allow us to talk about things because of objectivity.

President Steve Cook suggests that all parties interested in this issue convene per Carl Charles suggestion, to identify issues and how to address them.

IX.  Adjournment

Jazmin Gargoum motioned to adjourn and seconded by Peter Brusoe. Meeting adjourned at 11:44 AM.

September 26, 2020 EC Minutes

Washington-Baltimore News Guild
Executive Council Meeting Minutes
Date of Meeting: September 26, 2020

Present: Elise Bryant, Peter Brusoe, Carl Charles, Steve Cook, David DeJesus, Tim Fitzgerald,
Jazmin Gargoum, Joel Gratz, Don Griesheimer, Fatima Hussein, Tom Jackman, Tamara McCalla,
Katie Mettler, Justin Moyer, Sam Nelson, Mark Pattison, Jeremy Sprinkle, Michelle Wang, Emily
Woodall

Excused: Marissa Lang

Staff & Guests: Rick Ehrmann, Eric Geist, Cet Parks, Paul Reilly, Dina Kastner (NASW)

Meeting was called to order at 11:48 AM

I. Minutes

August 19, 2020 Minutes – Peter Brusoe motioned to approve minutes and seconded by
Sam Nelson. Motion Passed.

September 16, 2020 Board Poll (Strategic Committee) – The Sept. 16 Strategic
Committee Board Poll did not pass due to lack of quorum.

II. Membership Report

August 19 – September 25, 2020. Don Griesheimer motioned to approve and seconded
Peter Brusoe. Motion Passed.

III. Executive Director’s Report & Staff

Cet Parks

FL AFL-CIO – Cet Parks requested discretionary authority to arbitrate or file a ULP
regarding the Mike Stovall termination, for improperly seeking out Covid-19 test before
returning to work. Peter Brusoe motioned to approve request for arbitration, seconded by
Peter Brusoe. Motion Passed.

The State – TNG – Cet Parks requested discretionary authority to organize The State
newspaper in Columbia, SC (a McClatchy Publication) with 37 employees. The State is
a sister publication to The Island Packet News in SC which is also seeking recognition to
organize. Mark Gruenberg motioned to approve the request to organize The State,
seconded by Peter Brusoe. After further discussion (Joel Gratz TNG funding cuts) the
Motion Passed.

Verso – Cet Parks requested retroactive authority to organize Verso, a book publishing
company headquartered in London and with offices in Brooklyn, NY. Jeremy Sprinkle
motioned to approve, and the motion was seconded by Peter Brusoe. After further
discussion (Bill O’Meara, Peter Brusoe, Don Griesheimer concerns on unit size and NY
location, Mark Gruenberg on bargaining logistics/UK parent). Motion Passed.

MassLive – Cet Parks requested authority to organize MassLive, an on-line media
organization representing 12-15 employees who are experiencing horrible working
conditions. Peter Brusoe motioned to approve, and the motion was seconded by Mark
Gruenberg. After further discussion the Motion Passed.

Rick Ehrmann

In These Times – Rick Ehrmann requests approval of bargaining committee members
Jamie Hendry, Hamilton Nolan and Miles Lawson. Don Griesheimer motioned to
approve and seconded by Bill O’ Meara. Motion Passed.

NASW – Dina Kastner is asking for council approval to repurpose its approved $200
monthly luncheon budget for membership meetings which is going unused due to Covid19.
The unit wants to donate the funds to the Capital Area Food Bank. The amount to
date is $1,200 (6 months).

Mark Pattison motioned to approve the NASW $1,200 donation, representing six months
of unused lunches, to the Capital area Food Bank. The motion was seconded by Jeremy
Sprinkle. Mark Gruenberg offered a friendly amendment to continue the monthly
donations for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic, which was accepted by Mark
Pattison and Dina Kastner. After further discussions, Mark Gruenberg withdraws his
friendly amendment. After a roll call vote the Motion Failed.

Paul Reilly

American Prospect – Paul Reilly requested approval of JWJ bargaining team Alex
Sammon, Marcia Brown and Brittany Gibson. Jeremy Sprinkle motioned to approve and
seconded by Bill O’Meara. Motion Passed.

Eric Geist

No action items.

Bruce Jett

Broward County Legal Services (Miami, FL) – Bruce Jett requested discretionary
authority to organize this non-profit unit of 80 employees. Peter Brusoe motioned to
approve the organizing effort, seconded by Carl Charles. After further discussion the
motion was voted on and the Motion Passed.

IV. Financials

Strategic Finance Committee

Justin Moyer requested to postpone this committee to February 2021 due to upcoming
election cycle. Joel Gratz mentions that the original motion was attached to a timeline for
a completed plan and that instead of postponing, to consider a new timeline.
• Justin Moyer motioned to move the appointment of the four EC members to the strategic
committee to the March 2021 membership meeting. Motion was seconded by Peter
Brusoe. Motion Failed to Pass.

Joel Gratz motioned to reintroduce the board poll motion from September 16, 2020 to
nominate the following EC members and the four EC officers to serve on the strategic
committee to determine the Local’s financial future: Lillyanne Daigle, Don Griesheimer.
Motion Passed.

Bill O’Meara points out that because we are now organizing in Massachusetts, New York
and Florida, that we consider putting in a SIF or Growth Fund request to obtain resources
to execute those organizing projects to relieve financial pressures due to our deficit.
July 2020 Summary of Financial Highlights

Cet Parks presented a summary of financial highlights for the period ending July 31,
2020 (ten months into the FY) and requested approval. Peter Brusoe motioned to
approve the July 2020 Financial Report, seconded Mark Pattison. Motion Passed.

Bob Paul Invoices

No action items.

V. Old Business

Action Network

No action needed and discussions will move to October 2020 EC Meeting.

Reschedule of November Membership Meeting

President Steve Cook discussed moving the previously scheduled November 18, 2020
General Membership/EC Meeting to November 30, 2020 (7 PM) to accommodate the
upcoming election timetable. Elise Bryant motioned to approve the date change and was
seconded by Peter Brusoe. Motion Passed.

PAI Union News Service

Mark Gruenberg motioned to approve the subscription cost to the PAI Union Newsletter
and seconded by Bill O’ Meara. After further discussion a roll call vote was taken. Motion Failed.

VI. New Business

ERC Appointments

The current three appointed ERC members are disqualified because they are candidates in
the upcoming election. Fatima Hussein motioned to nominate Tammy Madison, Neela
Taub and Mallory Brangan, seconded by Carl Charles. Joel Gratz requested to substitute
Luke Canfora to replace Tammy Madison as one of the three seats on the committee.

Fatima Hussein (on Carl Charles recommendation) withdrew her original motion and
motioned to nominate Tammy Madison, Mallory Brangan and Luke Canfora to the ERC.
Peter Brusoe seconded the motion. After further question Bill O’ Meara called the
question, and since there were no other members seeking recognition, the motion to call
the question was withdrawn. Motion Passed.

Scott Reynolds Reimbursement

Cet Parks speaks to Scott Reynolds reimbursement of fees associated with registering as
a delegate for the Virginia AFL-CIO conference meeting (approximately $100). Joel
Gratz motioned to approve repayment of registration fee, seconded by Bill O’ Meara.
Bill O’ Meara offered a friendly amendment to reimburse up to $100 which was accepted
by Joel Gratz.

Peter Brusoe motioned to table the discussion until next meeting. A vote was taken and
the Motion Passed.

VII. Good & Welfare

No action items.

VIII. Personnel Caucus

No action items.

IX. Adjournment

Peter Brusoe motioned to adjourn and was seconded. Meeting adjourned at 2:13 PM.

September 3, 2020 General Membership Meeting

Washington-Baltimore News Guild

General Membership Meeting Minutes

Date of Meeting: September 3, 2020

This is a special meeting called for all members of the Washington-Baltimore News Guild to consider a resolution seeking to disaffiliate our union from the International Union of Police Associations.  The meeting was held via Zoom and attended by 169 members.

Meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM

Brian Nelson motioned to pass the following resolution, which was seconded by Jonathan Baran.  The motion reads as follows:

Resolution on the IUPA and Law Enforcement Within CWA

WHEREAS: Police unions have historically served as a force for racial segregation and repression of labor rights and;

WHEREAS: Police unions do not act in solidarity with the broader labor movement and;

WHEREAS: Police unions have resisted efforts of police reform, including alienating their own members who become whistleblowers and;

WHEREAS: Amid the current uprisings against police brutality police unions have become a clear target of police power and;

WHEREAS: In order to fully live up to the idea that Black Lives Matter and supporting the CWA’s Executive Board’s statement that “There is no in-between. There is no neutral option. The only real way to dismantle racism and build the working-class power we seek is for every worker to take on the struggle for justice for Black people in this country as their own and to embrace the actions that ‘an injury to one is an injury to all’ demands of us”

THEREFORE: We the members of the Washington-Baltimore News Guild, Local 32035 call upon the AFL-CIO to disaffiliate the International Union of Police Associations from the Federation and direct its constituent State Labor Federations, Area Labor Federations, and Central Labor Councils to do the same.

ADDITIONALLY: We call upon the Communications Workers of America to separate itself from its 3,000 Law Enforcement and Correctional Officer members.

ADDITIONALLY: We call for local and state governments to divest from policing and invest in non-policing alternatives for our communities.

Elise Bryant, Vice President of WBNG Local 32035 opened the floor for discussion.  After a thorough and spirited discussion on the merits of the resolution, a vote was taken.  The motion on Resolution on the IUPA and Law Enforcement Within CWA Passed.

The results of the vote are as follows:

  • 111 members voted in favor of the resolution
  • 32 members voted against the resolution

Vice President Elise Bryant motioned to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Dave DeJesus (Secretary).  The meeting adjourned at 8:40 PM.

August 19, 2020 EC Meeting

Washington-Baltimore News Guild

Executive Council Meeting Minutes

Date of Meeting: August 19, 2020

Present:  Kent Anderson, Elise Bryant, Peter Brusoe, Hau Chu, Carl Charles, Steve Cook, Ben Cooper, David DeJesus, Tim Fitzgerald, Jazmin Gargoum, Joel Gratz, Don Griesheimer, Fatima Hussein, Tom Jackman, Marissa Lang, Tamara McCalla, Katie Mettler, Justin Moyer, Sam Nelson, Bryan Nelson, Mark Pattison, Scott Reynolds, Jeremy Sprinkle

Excused:  Mark Gruenberg, Robert Lever

Staff & Guests:  Rick Ehrmann, Eric Geist, Bruce Jett, Cet Parks, Paul Reilly, Caitlin Wilson, Donna Cartwright, Chris Stein, Ken Anderson, Frank Fritz (UFCW Local 1994)

Meeting called to order at 7:04 PM

I.  Minutes

July 18, 2020 – Elise Bryant motioned to approve minutes and seconded by Tom Jackman. Motion Passed.

July 24, 2020 Board Poll – Don Griesheimer motioned to approve poll and seconded by Jeremy Sprinkle. Motion Passed.

II.  Membership Report

July 18 – August 19, 2020. Don Griesheimer motioned to approve and seconded Tom Jackman.  Motion Passed.

III.  Executive Director’s Report & Staff

Cet Parks

York Daily Record – Cet Parks requested discretionary authority to file ULP regarding Gannet 401K employee contribution issue. Mark Pattison motioned to approve request and seconded by Sam Nelson.  Motion Passed.   

UFCW Local 1994 Staff Union – Peter Brusoe motioned to allow Executive Director Cet Parks authority to sign up and file a petition regarding UFCW Local 1994 members who are currently under representation by FAIR. UFCW Local 1994 represents 12 staffers. After discussion and vote the Motion Passed.

Rick Ehrmann

Alliance for Justice – Rick Ehrmann requests approval of bargaining committee members Leslie Barnes, Zach Ford, Sara Matlin, alternates Aaron Truealt and Quyen Tu. Don Griesheimer motioned to approve, seconded by Sam Nelson.  Motion Passed.

ANA – Rick Ehrmann request approval of recently elected members of the ANA bargaining committees (back to office and contract). Don Griesheimer motioned to approve the members and Peter Brusoe seconded.  The Motion Passed.

Paul Reilly

Jobs With Justice – Paul Reilly requested approval of JWJ bargaining team. Mark Pattison motioned to approve and seconded by Peter Brusoe.  Motion Passed.

Eric Geist

Lambda Legal – Eric Geist requested discretionary authority to arbitrate a grievance if necessary, regarding a senior financial analyst job position which was excluded from its contract. Peter Brusoe motioned to approve, seconded by Sam Nelson.  Motion Passed.

League of Conservation Voters – Requests authority to ratify and sign new contract agreement. Sam Nelson motioned to approve and seconded by Jeremy Sprinkle.  Motion Passed.

League of Conservation Voters – Eric Geist requested approval of officers’ first term effective with election of new officers and serve until conclusion of the next election cycle. Don Griesheimer motioned to approve, seconded by Peter Brusoe.  Motion Passed.

Bruce Jett

No action items

IV.  Financials

June 2020 Summary of Financial Highlights

Cet Parks presented a summary of financial highlights for the period ending June 30, 2020 (nine months into the FY). Justin Moyer motioned to approve June 2020 Financial Report, seconded by Peter Brusoe.  Motion Passed.

Fiscal 2021 Budget – Budget Motion

Justin Moyer motioned that the budget be approved, and the Executive Director, the four officers and four other EC members (who are appointed through a vote of the full Executive Council) shall develop a detailed business plan for FY 2021-2022 with budget showing a balanced budget and a 3-year strategic plan setting priorities and goals for the local to be submitted to the Executive Council by December 1, 2020, given our continued deficit spending. The motion was seconded by Peter Brusoe.

After further discussion, the Motion Passed to approve the FY 2021 budget and establish a planning committee for the FY 2021/22 3-year strategic plan.

A board poll will be conducted to request participation of EC members interested in serving on the strategic planning committee.

Bob Paul Invoices

No action items.

NC State Online Convention Call

Jeremy Sprinkle’s unit requested approval to send two delegates to the online convention. Peter Brusoe motioned to approve and was seconded by Jazmin.  Motion Passed.   

Virginia AFL-CIO State Convention 

Scott Reynolds motioned to send up to five delegates, pending verification of event, and cover registration fees. The motion was seconded by Joel Gratz.  A roll call vote was taken and The Motion Failed to Pass (3-Yes, 12-No and 2-Abstain)

After additional discovery and discussion, it was determined there is no cost to attend this convention. An amended motion was made by Jeremy Sprinkle to send up to five delegates to the convention, seconded by Sam Nelson. Motion Passed.

Health and Safety Committee

President Steve Cook discussed organizing a Health & Safety Committee to address Covid related back-to-work safety issues, chaired by Peter Brusoe, with the goal of recruiting members from EC. Fatima Hussein motioned to approve, seconded by Elise Bryant.  Motion Passed.

Cet provided an update that the NLRB does not recognize bargaining over this issue unless language exists in existing contracts.

V.  Old Business

Press Associates Renewal deferred.

VI.  New Business

Police Affiliation – Motion for Special Membership Meeting

Katie Mettler addressed EC regarding a call for a special general membership meeting on September 3, 2020 to solely discuss the police disaffiliation vote. Katie Mettler motioned that the Executive Council shall place a resolution on police union affiliation on the agenda of a special/emergency meeting of the General Membership for consideration on September 3, 2020.  That shall be the sole order of business for the Special Membership Meeting.

The motion was seconded by Scott Reynolds. After further discussion the Motion Passed to hold a special membership meeting on September 3, at 7 PM.

Motion – ITT Federal Lawsuit and Legal Fees

Joel Gratz motioned – “I would request that the leadership of ITT be requested to attend the EC meeting to discuss their decision to place WBNG’s name on a federal lawsuit without any prior discussion at all with WBNG leadership or authority to take such action.”  Motion was seconded by Tom Jackman and was opened to discussion.

Carl Charles offered a friendly amendment to engage in mentorship the ITT members and council them on our policies and practices. After further discussion Joel Gratz withdrew his motion

Motion on Legal Fees

Joel Gratz motioned that a committee of the local consisting of the Executive Director, the President, the Treasurer and two members of the local, who may but need not be EC members. conduct: 1) a review of the legal fees incurred by the local to understand the primary cost drivers of those fees. 2) consider viable options for holding fees stable during the next fiscal year and 3) evaluate future options for legal representation of the local including a review of hourly rates charged attorneys providing similar services as the Local now receives, the viability of hiring a staff attorney for the Local and potential timelines for any changes. The committee shall deliver a report of their findings by the January 2021 General Membership meeting.  The motion was seconded by Peter Brusoe.

After further discussion, Justin Moyer concluded that the newly created strategic budget planning committee could address these concerns. Joel Gratz withdrew his motion with an understanding that the strategic planning committee would incorporate the elements of his motion in its plan.

Save the News

President Cook discussed Save the News survey and encouraged units to support the initiative.

Newsroom Diversity

Caitlin Wilson (AFP) addressed concerns they have about the lack of diversity within its newsroom ranks, especially considering the BLM movement and other current social issues, despite contract language requiring hiring of minority groups. Their concerns have been presented to management.  Caitlin is also asking for input and guidance form the EC on this issue.

Katie Mettler/Dave DeJesus, Washington Post and Fatima Hussein at BBNA shared strategies used regarding diversity issues and agreed to reach/discuss sharing information.

Carl Charles shared as strategy that at Lambda Legal they are considering filing a grievance about equitable language in their contract regarding steps their employer has not taken based on language in their CBA.

Front Page Awards

Peter Brusoe updated EC that October 8, 2020 is 7 PM is scheduled date for the 2020 Front Page Virtual Awards.

VII.  Good & Welfare

Elise Bryant updated on candlelight vigil at BLM Plaza – “Vote Like Black Lives Matter tee shirts are available.

Peter Brusoe informed members that GM and EC meeting scheduled for September 18, 2020 falls on Rosh Hashanah holiday. It was discussed that the meeting date could be moved back one week to September 26, 2020.  Additionally, Peter Brusoe proposed to send out the rescheduled meeting date on the postcard slated to inform members of Front-Page Awards to save on mailing costs.

Carl Charles motioned to reschedule September 18 General Membership meeting scheduled for September 26, 2020, to September 26, 2020 in observance of Rosh Hashanah holiday, seconded by Peter Brusoe. Motion Passed.

VIII.  Personnel Caucus

No action items.

IX.  Adjournment

Peter Brusoe motioned to adjourn and was seconded.  Meeting adjourned at 10:18 PM.