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
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
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.
No action items.
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.
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.
No action items
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.
No action required.
V. Old Business
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.
Peter Brusoe motioned to adjourn and was seconded. Meeting adjourned at 9:17 PM.