July 18, 2020 EC Meeting

Washington-Baltimore News Guild
Executive Council Meeting Minutes
July 18, 2020

Present:  Elise Bryant, Peter Brusoe, Hau Chu, Carl Charles, Steve Cook, David DeJesus, Tim Fitzgerald, Joel Gratz, Don Griesheimer, Fatima Hussein, Tom Jackman, Fred Kunkle, Marissa Lang, Tamara McCalla, Katie Mettler, Justin Moyer, Sam Nelson, Bryan Nelson, Bill O’Meara, Mark Pattison, Scott Reynolds, Michelle Wang

Excused:  Jazmin Gargoum, Mark Gruenberg, Rick Ehrmann

Staff & Guests:  Bruce Jett, Cet Parks, Paul Reilly

Meeting called to order at 11:24 AM

I.     Minutes

June 17, 2020 – Peter Brusoe motioned to approve and was the motion was seconded by Bill O’Meara. Correction made to reflect Peter Brusoe missed 1st half of that meeting.  Motion Passed.

II.    Membership Report

June 17, 2020 – July 18, 2020. Don Griesheimer motioned to approve and seconded by Peter Brusoe.  Motion Passed.

III.   Executive Director’s Report & Staff

Cet Parks

RFA – Cet Parks requested discretionary authority to arbitrate if necessary, the Michelle Wang disciplinary action regarding a work from home test run action. Elise Bryant motioned to approve the request and the motion was seconded.  Motion Passed.   

HPAE – Update by Bryon Nelson for an arbitration for a terminated employee that was previously approved by the EC. A settlement agreement was reached, and no further action was required.

Paul Reilly

RAINN – Paul Reilly requested approval of RAINN new five-year contract. Peter Brusoe motioned to approve, and the motion seconded Don Griesheimer.  Motion Passed.

Eric Geist

No action items

Bruce Jett

No action items

IV.   Financials

Cet Parks presented a summary of financial highlights for the period ending May 31, 2020, which ended in a surplus. Don Griesheimer motioned to approve May 2020 Financial Report, seconded by Scott Reynolds.  There was further discussion regarding governing with caution due to the pandemic related effects on business units and pending contract revenue.  Motion Passed.

V.    Old Business

No action items

VI.   New Business

NC State Online Convention Call

President Steve Cook requested that we table this discussion until next EC meeting in August until Jeremy Sprinkle can speak on the issue. Peter Brusoe motioned to grant Cet Parks discretionary authority to send delegates to the convention if approved by the local unit.  The motion was seconded by Elise Bryant. 

After further discussion Don Griesheimer offered a friendly amendment to send up to three delegates, which was accepted by Peter Brusoe. The motion was revised by Peter Brusoe to send one delegate to the convention.  Motion Passed.      

VII.   Good & Welfare

Peter Brusoe provided an update on the Front-Page Awards, and that there were a record number of nominations for the award. The committee is hoping to have a date for the awards program in the fall.

Bill O’ Meara informed EC that his proposal to streamline the arbitration approval process is still on the table, and that we should seek to resolve this issue by the next EC meeting, for an up or down vote. Katie Mettler suggested having someone to lead a working group to move the discussions along.  Peter Brusoe offered to step up to lead the committee and report out to EC one week prior to next EC meeting (August 12).

Elise Bryant – update on the Coalition of Labor Union Women who will present a town hall meeting – SNAP – on August 6.

There was discussion about forming a safety committee on Covid-19 related return to work issues and its impact on bargaining. President Steve Cook will send an email to unit chairs to ask for volunteers to participate on this committee.

VIII.  Personnel Caucus

No action items.

IX.    Adjournment

Mark Pattison motioned to adjourn and seconded by Peter Brusoe. Meeting adjourned at 12:17 PM.

June 17, 2020 EC Meeting

Washington-Baltimore News Guild

Executive Council Meeting Minutes

Date of Meeting: June 17, 2020

Present:  Elise Bryant, Hau Chu, Steve Cook, Ben Cooper, David DeJesus, Tim Fitzgerald, Ed Fortney, Jasmine Gargoum, Joel Gratz, Don Griesheimer, Mark Gruenberg, Fatima Hussein, Tom Jackman, John Kenney (for Lillyanne Daigle), Fred Kunkle, Marissa Lang, Tamara McCalla, Katie Mettler, Justin Moyer, Sam Nelson, Bryan Nelson, Bill O’Meara, Mark Pattison, Scott Reynolds, Jeremy Sprinkle

Excused:  Lillyanne Daigle

Staff & Guests:  Rick Ehrmann, Bruce Jett, Cet Parks, Paul Reilly, Indigo Oliver (guest)

Meeting called to order at 7:00 PM

I.  Minutes

May 20, 2020 – Bill O’Meara motioned to approve and was seconded by Don Griesheimer. Corrections were noted and Motion passed.

II.  Membership Report

May 20, 2020 – June 17, 2020. Jeremy Sprinkle motioned to approve and seconded by Mark Gruenberg.  Motion Passed.

III.  Executive Director’s Report & Staff

Cet Parks

UFCW– Unit leadership requests discretionary authority to arbitrate Chris Johansson Notice of Unsatisfactory Performance grievance. Sam Nelson motioned to approve the request and seconded by Mark Gruenberg.  Motion passed.   

WBNG had investigated the possibility of getting federal Paycheck Protection Program loan grant money from one of the first two rounds of CARES Act funding, but because the local is not a 501(c)(3) — it’s a 501(c)(5) — we were not eligible. The North Carolina AFL-CIO qualified for such a loan.

Rick Ehrmann

Alliance for Justice – Rick Ehrmann requests approval of bargaining team. Tom Jackman motioned to approve and seconded by Mark Pattison.  Motion Passed.

Alliance for Justice – Requested retroactive authority to arbitrate a dispute at the newly organized Alliance for Justice. Management, before the Guild could get to the bargaining table, was making wholesale changes in working conditions that are mandatory subjects of bargaining — and which are supposed to be left untouched until a contract is reached. Mark Gruenberg motioned to approve and seconded by Tom Jackman. Motion Passed.

ANA – Requested approval of MOA ratification regarding temporary salary reduction issue that had been ratified by 102-0 vote by the unit.  with five abstentions.  Under the plan, salaries will be cut until Oct. 9 to help offset ANA’s multi million-dollar deficit, with the union and management meeting Sept. 1 to assess things.  Reductions will be on a sliding scale: Employees making $60,000 or less will be cut 2.5%, those making between $60,000-$100,000 will be reduced 4.25%, and those making over $100,000 will be cut 9.25%.  There will be no layoffs or reductions in hours during this period.  Don Griesheimer motioned to approve and seconded by Elise Bryant.  Motion Passed.

Metropolitan Washington Council – Requested approval of contract extension agreement for David Stephen. Mark Pattison motioned to approve, seconded by Bill O’Meara.  After two-and-a-half years without a contract, WBNG members at the Metropolitan Washington AFL-CIO Council came to an agreement on a contract extension: raises of 2.5% for 2018, 3% for 2019, and 3.5% for 2020, signed by recalcitrant D.C. Fed Acting President Andrew Washington his last day in office.  His successor is former WBNG member Dyana Forester, who had worked at UFCW HQ before going to work for UFCW Local 400. Motion Passed.

Paul Reilly

BBNA – Paul Reilly requests retroactive approval to file a complaint in federal court to force Bloomberg to arbitration on a jurisdiction grievance. Management at first claimed the grievance was not filed in a timely manner, but WBNG won an arbitration. Management is claiming the issue is not arbitrable.  The Guild is in talks with Bloomberg to get the matter resolved short of court.  Don Griesheimer motioned to approve, and the motion seconded.  Motion Passed.

IV.  Financials

Mark Pattison motioned to approve April 2020 Financial Report, seconded by Don Griesheimer. Motion Passed.

V.  Old Business

Bylaws Revision

Sam Nelson motioned to approve minor revisions to the proposed bylaws changes approved in April. The biggest change was different language in the article covering dues.  Some contradictory language that remained from the current bylaws — adopted in 2002 were removed, and some copy-editing changes were also made. The motion was seconded by Mark Pattison.  Motion Passed.

COVID-19 Update

Cet Parks reported on UFCW Return to Work issue (employers must bargain over return to office).

UFCW – WBNG is bargaining with UFCW HQ about return-to-office issues. The Guild has been advocating continued telework until the New Year, and management has been pushing for getting back to the office ASAP. Kaiser Permanente and SEIU Local 500 has acknowledged that it’s a mandatory issue of bargaining but hasn’t gotten around to bargaining yet. At Bloomberg, there is a labor-management committee working on return-to-office issues. The Washington Post isn’t returning to the office until at least Labor Day, and the New York Times has said it won’t bring its employees back to the office until 2021.

VI.  New Business

Member Contact Info

President Steve Cook discussed issues around member contact information. Don Griesheimer suggested adopting privacy policy in conjunction with asking for member information as a best practice.

Police Unions

Sam Nelson and Indigo Oliver discuss issues regarding need for police union reforms and presented a resolution calling for the AFL-CIO, WBNG, and other organizations, to disaffiliate the International Union of Police Associations from the federation, and for the CWA to expel an estimated 40,000 members who are in police or correctional officer unions.

After extensive discussions there was a vote on the resolution. The EC rejected the resolution presented by Sam Nelson.  The resolution failed to pass on a vote of 16-6 with (3) abstentions. 

Further discussions led to a proposal to create a task force to explore alternative proposals. Scott Reynolds motioned to establish a task force within the Local to study the issue of police reform strategies, and to report back to the EC with solutions, and the motion was seconded.  The motion to create a task force was adopted by the EC.    

VII.  Good & Welfare

Jobs With Justice – Byron Nelson motioned to approve renewal of JWJ membership fee for $200. The motion was seconded by Scott Reynolds.  Motion Passed.

WBNG has been the recipient of an overture by a neighbor on our floor in our office building in D.C. who may be interested in subleasing some of our office space — or buying us out of the lease entirely. The tenant hasn’t looked at our office space, and the Executive Council would have to approve any such change in our lease obligations. But when the new neighbor took a guided tour of the offices, they seemed to chill their interest.

VIII.  Personnel Caucus

No action items.

IX.  Adjournment

Jazmin Gargoum motioned to adjourn and seconded by Mark Pattison.  Meeting adjourned at 9:48 PM.

May 20, 2020 EC Meeting

Washington-Baltimore News Guild

Executive Council Meeting

May 20, 2020

Present:  Peter Brusoe, Elise Bryant, Hau Chu, Steve Cook, Benjamin Cooper, David DeJesus, Tim Fitzgerald, Ed Fortney, Jazmin Gargoum, Joel Gratz, Don Griesheimer, Mark Gruenberg, Fatima Hussein, Tom Jackman, Marissa Lang, Tamara McCalla, Katie Mettler, Justin Moyer, Bryan Nelson, Bill O’Meara, Mark Pattison, Scott Reynolds, Jeremy Sprinkle, Michelle Wang, Karma Zurkhang

Excused:  Sam Nelson

Staff & Guests: Rick Ehrmann, Eric Geist, Bruce Jett, Cet Parks, Paul Reilly, Don Slaiman

I.  Minutes

April 22, 2020

Jeremy Sprinkle motioned to approve, seconded by Jazmin Gargoum.  Motion Passes to adopt April 22, 2020 minutes.

II.  Membership Report

April 22 – May 20, 2020

Don Griesheimer motions to approve, seconded by Tom Jackman.  Motion Passes to adopt the April 22 membership report.

III.  Executive Director’s Report

Cet Parks

SEIU – Request approval of the bargaining committee – Edward Fortney, Marva Luke, Katie Brown, Greg Petrilli and Cet Parks.  Don Griesheimer motions to approve, seconded by Bill O’Meara.  Motion Passes to approve SEIU bargaining team.

WBNG DC Office Space/Lease – Cet Parks also discussed next door tenant interest in WBNG office space, which could generate additional cost savings (WBNG would relocate to another office space in building, utilize AFL-CIO office space, or operate remotely until end of pandemic).  No further action taken.

Rick Ehrmann

Washington Post – bargaining committee has reached a tentative agreement with Post management for an 8-1/2 month contract extension with salary increase, up to 20 weeks paid parental leave.  Contract faces ratification vote next week.  Mark Gruenberg motioned to approve the extension, seconded by Mark Pattison.  Motion Passes to approve contract extension.

American Postal Workers Union – agreement reached to extend current CBA for two years, with a 1 percent salary increase on November 1, 2020 and a wage increase based on what APWU postal workers will receive in 2021.  Scott Reynolds motioned to approve the contract ratification, seconded by Bill O’Meara.  Motion Passes to adopt contract ratification.

Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) – members ratified three year contract which included annual raise of $2500, a 100 percent employer paid health premium, increased severance pay, evaluation of supervisors, annual equity audit, comp time for sixth day worked and limitations on off-hour communications.  Request approval of three year contract.  Scott Reynolds motioned to approve, seconded by Bill O’Meara.  Motion Passes to approve contract.

American Nurses Association – Don Griesheimer provides update on temporary pay reduction at ANA, potential furloughs and vacation givebacks.

Metropolitan Council, AFL-CIO – Rick requests discretionary authority to file an ULP and/or arbitrate MWC’s failure to negotiate with the Guild and failure to pay David Stephen’s post-probationary pay increase.  Jeremy Sprinkle motions to grant discretionary approval to file ULP, seconded by Scott Reynolds.  Motion Passes.

Paul Reilly

Charlotte Daily Progress – request approval of its two year contract.  Scott Reynolds motions to approve, seconded by Benjamin Cooper.  Motion Passes to approve contract.

RAINN – requests approval of bargaining team consisting of Trisha Dorsey, Sidney West, Sarcia Adkins and Paul Reilly.  Don Griesheimer motions to approve, seconded by Tom Jackman.  Motion Passes to approve bargaining team.

Roanoke Times – request approval of bargaining team Mark Berman, Casey Fabris, Amy Friedenberger, Shawn Garrett, Luan Rife, Jeff Sturgeon and Paul Reilly.  Mark Gruenberg motions to approve, seconded by Scott Reynolds.  Motion Passes to approve bargaining team.

Foreign Policy – request approval to arbitrate jurisdictions grievance.  Mark Gruenberg motions to approve, seconded by Bill O’Meara.  Motion Passes to approve arbitration.

Eric Geist

Provided update – no action items

Bruce Jett

Indivisible – request approval of bargaining committee Juliana Garcia, CJ Incorminias, Eli Gerber, Judy Stadtman, AJ Hedrich and Bruce Jett.  Scott Reynolds motions to approve, seconded by Mark Gruenberg.  Motion Passes to approve bargaining team.

IV.  Financials

Financials for March

Cet Parks reviews March financials and requests approval of the financial report.  Mark Pattison motions to approve financials, seconded by Jazmin Gargoum.  Motion Passes.

Bob Paul’s Invoices – April 2020

No action required.

Bob Paul’s Invoices – Election Stipulation

No action required.

V.  Old Business

By-Laws Revision

In Sam Nelson’s absence, President Steve Cook reports that corrections and suggestion were made to bylaws based on review with TNG (Tim Shick).  There were a few minor corrections/suggestions presented by TNG.  Bylaws committee agreed to incorporate some of these suggestions.  No additional action was taken during this meeting.  The committee’s goal is to have bylaws sent out to members by July/August in order to implement by September. 

VI.  New Business

Request to Arbitrate

Bill O’Meara shares background on language to reform how we arbitrate grievances, based on input from Cet Parks, President Steve Cook and Freddy Kunkle, with the goal of expediting and streamlining the initial decision making process. 

Bill O’Meara motions to adopt the streamlined language as a policy going forward.  The motion was seconded by Peter Brusoe.

Scott Reynolds shares concerns about taking power and voice from the members and placing it in the hands of a smaller group of people and asks to make a substitute motion to table the issue to allow time to discuss with his unit for more analysis.

President Cook shares that the language represents a more economical use of our time, and notes that staff recommendations on arbitration are always carefully considered; and there are procedures in place to allow grievances to go to the full council.

Rick Ehrmann, Peter Brusoe, Katie Mettler, Joel Gratz, Mark Gruenberg, Jazmin Gargoum, Bryan Nelson, Mark Pattison and Elise Bryant all share concerns regarding the process to streamline grievance procedures.

Scott Reynolds motions to table the discussion until the next EC meeting and establish a subcommittee to review language and make recommendations, affirm discussion on draft proposal and procedures to streamline the process.  A vote is taken and Motion Passes to table the discussion.

Sub-committee members include Scott Reynolds, Joel Gratz, Cet Parks, Bill O’Meara, Fatima Hussein, Katie Mettler, Steve Cook, and Jeremy Sprinkle.

COVID-19 – Returning to the Workplace

President Cook and Cet Parks discuss the importance of employee health and safety when our units are able to return to work.  Returning to Work is a mandatory bargaining item, and that we have a right to request bargaining, file ULP’s and arbitrate if necessary.  Discussed establishing a Health & Safety Committee. 

Peter Brusoe motions to establish a Health & Safety/Best Practices committee, seconded by Mark Pattison.  Motion Passes.  President Cook requests anyone interested being on committee to reach out via email.

NOVA Labor Council Delegates

Don Slaiman discuss role of NOVA Labor Council and announce that there are five delegate slots available for Labor Council.  Joel Gratz motions to nominate Scott Reynolds, Christine Silvia-Degennaro and Don Slaiman to fill three of the five delegate slots. Fatima Hussein requested time to reach out to people in her unit who may be interested in the additional slots.  Motion Passes.

VII.  Good & Welfare

Mark Gruenberg asks that we take notice of the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper closing print operations and operations moving over to Cleveland.com, a non-union newsroom.

Joel Gratz – wants to renew efforts to have access to the Action Builder mobile online organizing tool, and possibly discuss at next EC meeting.

VIII.  Personnel Caucus

None

IX.  Adjournment

Peter Brusoe motions to adjourn.  Motion Passes and meeting adjourns at 9:29 PM.

April 22, 2020 General Membership Meeting

Washington-Baltimore News Guild
General Membership Meeting
April 22, 2020, 7:04 PM Via Zoom

Present: Elise Bryant, Hau Chu, Steve Cook, Ben Cooper, Lillyanne Daigle, Scott Dance, David DeJesus, Lydia Ealey, Tim Fitzgerald, Ed Fortney, Scott Reynolds, Jasmine Gargoum, Joel Gratz, Don Griesheimer, Mark Gruenberg, Fatima Hussein, Freddy Kunkle, Marissa Lang, Tamara McCalla, Katie Mettler, Justin Moyer, Sam Nelson, Bryan Nelson, Bill O’Meara, Mark Pattison, Jeremy Sprinkle, Michelle Wang

Excused: Tom Jackman

Staff: Rick Ehrmann, Eric Geist, Bruce Jett, Cet Parks, Paul Reilly

I.  Minutes

January 29, 2020  

Mark Gruenberg motioned to approve minutes, seconded by Donna Cartwright.  Motion Passes to adopt the minutes.

II.  Membership Report – April 22, 2020

April 22, 2020

Don Griesheimer motioned to approve membership report, seconded by Mark Pattison.  Motion Passes to adopt the membership report.

III.  Officer’s Reports

President’s Report

President Steve Cook reported on legislation that would provide funding for newsrooms (Save The News) during Covid-19 crisis, extensive layoffs and furloughs and return to work issues related to Covid-19 crisis.         

Vice President’s Report

Vice President Elise Bryant reported on AFL CIO constituency groups working on anti-racist attacks on Asian American workers during the pandemic by developing five economic principles on civil and human rights.

IV.   New Business

None

V.  Old Business

None

VI.  Executive Director & Staff Reports

Cet Parks

UFCW – We recently had Zoom negotiating sessions on April 8,2020 and April 15, 2020. The counters and moves made by both parties were minimal. Overall conducting the negotiating sessions over Zoom was successful.

YORK DAILY RECORD (YDR) – We had to take a pause in successor contract negotiations to bargain over furloughs last week. Gannett requested to bargain over furloughs for each individual TNG bargaining unit because of significant loss of advertising revenue.

Even though the YDR contract states there can be no reduction of pay or benefits, bargaining unit members quickly decided to take a one-week furlough in an attempt to prevent less senior co-workers from being laid off.  We were not able to achieve a no layoff clause during the furlough period but the YDR will pay back the furlough week to anyone that is laid off. We also got agreement to carry over any expiring vacation.

THE BALTIMORE SUN – Tribune Publishing has imposed pay cuts of 2-10 percent on non-union staff making $67,000 or more. Soon after management proposed a flat 4.5 percent pay cut for bargaining unit employees making $67,000 or more.

The management deadline for the pay cut proposal technically passed on Wednesday, April 15, 2020, but we are still in the process of discussing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with the company for the information request.  The discussions are ongoing.  At the same time, we believe Tribune is planning layoffs regardless.

Rick Ehrmann

Washington Post – We have begun to explore with management the possibility of extending the current contract which expires on July 12, 2020, due to Covid-19 epidemic. 

Center for Popular Democracy – Bargaining committee is close to reaching a labor contract settlement. 

Metro Washington Council AFL-CIO – We will be negotiating with acting president. Andrew Washington. 

American Postal Workers Union – We are waiting to hear from APWU’s attorney for bargaining dates. 

Arbitration National Association of Social Workers – The NASW management notified us that. effective April 1. the Association would stop paying their 5.5% contribution to members401(k) plan. Members signed and delivered a protest petition to the CEO.   At the March 30 Step 2 grievance meeting. Management announced they will continue to pay the 5.5% contribution every pay period.

Paul Reilly

Charlottesville Daily Progress – Since last report the new owner has announced new furloughs.  We held multiple conference calls between other Locals with Lee papers and Lee executive team.  Lee agreed it could not implement furloughs in Charlottesville and Omaha (the other Lee paper in first-contract bargaining) while in status quo.  Instead. they proposed expedited bargaining. As of this writing. we are in day four of off the record discussions.

FPSU (Florida SEIU Local) – Made a new economic proposal.

ROANOKE TIMES – Shortly after filing for election. the NLRB suspended all elections. even mail ballot. but then reinstated mail ballot elections.

Eric Geist

Chesapeake Guild/Tidewater Guild/Tribune Joint Bargaining – The 2019 Sun extension includes language that ties Sun raise to wages negotiated with the Chesapeake unit.  The military has notified BSSMG that it is exercising its right to end the Soundoff contract as of June 30 – which affects one member of the bargaining unit.

The Capital Gazette has proposed hiring a Reporter for America journalist for one year and excluding it from the bargaining unit. We have countered with a proposal that it be included in the bargaining unit and governed by the initial contract once that is in effect.

The Tidewater Guild is two units. One unit includes the Newport Daily Press and the other is the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot.  The second unit is the Williamsburg Gazette and the Tidewater Review.  Chesapeake and Tidewater are part of a joint bargaining with the Tribune Company.  The other units are also bargaining initial contracts and includes The Morning Call. the Hartford Courant. and the Design and Production Studio (DPS) based in the Chicago Tribune printing plant.

Tribune proposed that all units take a permanent pay cut beginning April I9.  There is no proposal for the joint bargaining table, but Tribune has been notified of our willingness to bargain jointly, should a proposal be made.

Indivisible – This is an initial contract.  There was an issue with a change to performance reviews for some of the job titles.  We have proposed the information not be used their purposes of pay, promotions. or discipline.

League of Conservation Voters – This is an initial contract. Bargaining is scheduled April 23. 28 and May 7. 

Rewire News – this is an initial contract. The unit has been reduced to seven members after losing a large donor.  Bargaining sessions were held March 17 and April 1, 6, and 7, the first ones since the end of October, after the founder left the CEO and Editor post. The sessions resulted in tentative agreements. 

Bruce Jett

Southern Poverty Law Center- We have a signed MOU that codifies a Steward structure and a Grievance Procedure with Arbitration for bargaining unit employees.  This is a groundbreaking achievement prior to contract negotiations.

United for Respect – Unit of 20 employees has met a half dozen times for bargaining their initial contract. We have achieved almost 11 non-economic tentative agreements thus far. UFR’s management has initiated a disrespectful and overreaching Non-Disclosure/Confidentiality proposal for the entire B.U. and, so far has refused to bargain over it.  This could result in the Guild filing a ULP if their stance doesn’t change. 

Lambda Legal – The Guild and management are currently discussing the details and fact findings of their proposed Labor costs reduction. A Zoom audio/video has been set up to inquire and work through what is in the best interests of the Bargaining Unit before they move forward with any plans. 

Political Research Associates – Unit of 10 eligible employees in Somerville, MA that publishes a progressive quarterly magazine focused on Immigrant Rights, LGBTQ Justice and Gender, Reproductive Rights and Economic Justice has elected their Bargaining Team and in the midst of sending out their Bargaining Survey since their February recognition.

Alliance for Justice – A Unit of possibly 20 persons located here in DC that advocates and educates the public on the political process and our rights as citizens. The group has received voluntary recognition and are electing their bargaining team and sending out their bargaining survey to the unit. 

Indivisible – Unit of 55 with HDQ in DC and offices across the US operating as a grassroots progressive movement initiated in 2016 as a reaction to the unfortunate election of Donald Trump.  They are electing their Bargaining Team and collecting their Bargaining Survey responses. 

Color of Change – Unit of 80 employees here in DC and abroad – they are a progressive Social Justice advocacy organization dedicated to “changing the color of democracy” for people of color.  We are in the initial stages of building out their national organizing committee with some moderate success. 

Several other organizational probes are underway, and I will keep the EC updated relative to their incremental progression.

VII.  Financials – Expenses

No items to discuss

VIII.  Good & Welfare

No items to discuss

IX.  Adjournment

Rick Ehrmann motioned to adjourn, seconded by Ed Fortney.  Motion is adopted and meeting adjourns at 7:40 PM.

April 22, 2020 EC Meeting

Washington-Baltimore News Guild

Executive Council Meeting Minutes

Date of Meeting:  April 22, 2020

EC Present: Elise Bryant, Carl Charles, Steve Cook, Lillyanne Daigle, Scott Dance, David DeJesus, Lydia Ealey, Tim Fitzgerald, Ed Fortney, Jazmin Gargoum, Joel Gratz, Don Griesheimer, Mark Gruenberg, Fatima Hussein, Tom Jackman, Freddy Kunkle, Marissa Lang, Tamara McCalla, Katie Mettler, Justin Moyer, Sam Nelson, Bryan Nelson, Bill O’Meara, Mark Pattison, Scott Reynolds, Michelle Wang

Excused: None

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

Meeting called to order at 7:04 PM via Zoom. 

I.  Minutes

March 18, 2020

Bill O’Meara motioned to approve minutes, seconded by Mark Gruenberg.  Motion Passed to adopt the minutes.

II.  Membership Report

March 19, 2020 – April 22, 2020

April 22, 2020 – Don Griesheimer motioned to approve membership report, seconded by Mark Pattison. Motion is adopted to approve the membership report (covered in April 22, 2020 GMM).

III.  Executive Director’s Report & Staff

Cet Parks

Working America – Requested retroactive authority to file an unfair labor practice (ULP) charge for union discrimination regarding concerted activity over management’s blatant retaliation against Nora Langan, Vice-Chair of the Working America Guild bargaining unit.  Bryan Nelson motioned to approve, seconded by Jazmin Gargoum.  Motion Passes.

UFCW – Executive Director Cet Parks reported that the EC prevailed in the arbitration for Evan Yeats written warning and notice of unsatisfactory performance.

Rick Ehrmann

NASW – Requests discretionary to arbitrate notification of elimination of non-elective employer contribution to 401k plan.  Ed Fortney motioned to approve the requests and seconded by Elise Bryant.  Dina Kastner (NASW) provided additional details on the issue.  After further discussion, the Motion Passes.

Paul Reilly

No action items.

Bruce Jett 

United For Respect – Requests retroactive authority to file unfair labor practice (ULP) for an overreaching non-disclosure and confidentiality proposal affecting the bargaining unit.  Sam Nelson motioned to approve and seconded by Jazmin Gargoum.  Motion Passes.

Eric Geist

No action items.

IV.  Financials

Financial Highlights for February 2020

Executive Director Cet Parks and Treasurer Justin Moyer gave an overview of the financials for February 2020.  After additional discussion, Mark Gruenberg motioned to approve February 2020 financials, seconded by Don Griesheimer.  Motion Passes.

Bob Paul

No action required.  Briefly discussed applying for TNG legal services as a method to obtain reimbursement for some of our legal costs. 

Sean Rogers Esq. Invoice 

No action required.

Roanoke Times Campaign Invoice

No action required. 

V.  Old Business

Proposed Bylaws Revisions

Bylaws committee chair Sam Nelson, lead discussion and reviewed proposed bylaws changes.  President Steve Cook also discussed bylaws major changes, approval process and appointment of the Elections Referendum Committee.  Several amendments to the proposed bylaws were presented for consideration.

Sam Nelson motioned to accept friendly amendments to the proposed bylaws changes, seconded by Vice President, Elise Bryant.  A summary of the friendly amendments that were accepted include amendments presented by Joel Gratz (re; elections at General Membership mtg.), Freddy Kunkle (council members serving on the ERC, and VP replacing President), and Executive Director/Administrative Officer titles.  

After further discussion the motion passes to adopt the proposed bylaws changes, with friendly amendments.  Amended bylaws will be sent to the general membership for approval and referendum.

President Steve Cook announces ERC members – Marissa Lang (Post), Jason Albright (BIG) and Ed Fortney (SEIU 500).  There were further discussions on the process and method of voting (mail or electronic).

Mark Pattison motioned to approve the appointment of ERC members, seconded by Bill O’ Meara. Motion Passed.

VI.  New Business

Baltimore Sun

Executive Director Cet Parks and Scott Dance provided an update on Baltimore Sun local ownership campaign.

Save The News Board Poll

March 31, 2020 Board Poll – Mark Gruenberg motioned to adopt the board poll, seconded by Ed Fortney.  Motion Passes to adopt the board poll.

Bylaws Amendment on Arbitration Policy 

Bill O’ Meara agreed to table this discussion until next EC meeting in May 2020.

VII.  Good & Welfare

Jazmin Gargoum discussed Mind Space Front Page Awards scheduled for April 30.  Mind Space venue was acceptable to rescheduling at future date due to Covid-19 crisis.  Zoom meetings have been very effective tool to leverage for EC and GM meetings.

Michelle Wang – requested information on methods of recruitment of union members.  

Mark Pattison – requested information addressing return to work policies and face mask initiatives. 

VIII.  Personnel Caucus

No action items.

XI.  Adjournment

Bill O’Meara motions to adjourn and seconded by Don Griesheimer.  Meeting is adjourned at 9:52 PM.