Jan. 10, 2017 Executive Council Meeting

  • Council approved the appointment of Ed Fortney (Local 500 SEIU) as a replacement for Steven Cook (Bloomberg-BNA) on the Elections and Referendum Committee. The committee is overseeing the balloting for three contested positions on the WBNG Executive Council for 2017-18. The votes are to be counted and the results announced on Jan. 27.
  • Consultant Bruce Jett announced an organizing win at the Advancement Project. Potential Guild members voted 11-2 in favor of representation at the nonprofit. The total unit will be 15 to 20 workers. 
  • Executive Director Cet Parks reported on negotiations with management of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, where a three-year contract covering two dozen employees expires March 31. He said that bargaining is expected to be completed in just two or three session.
  • Local Representative Rick Ehrmann reported that both parties at the Center for Popular Democracy are “shooting for a tentative agreement by Feb. 1.” This will be the first contract at CPD, and will cover about 35 Guild members.
  • Local Representative Paul Reilly discussed Black History Month events at Bloomberg-BNA. Council approved spending up to $500 to support B-BNA Guild unit mobilizing/organizing efforts tied to these events.
  • Council approved a Jobs with Justice bargaining team: Ada Fuentes, Ethan Miller, and Local Representative Paul Reilly.  A contract covering 14 Guild members expired Dec. 31.
  • Mikhail Romanov (UFCW) and Parks give an update on bargaining at UFCW, where a contract covering 63 workers expired Oct. 7, but remains in effect. Romanov said, however, that there have been several contract violations in the past months and that management cancelled a recent negotiating session after trying to evict a union member from the bargaining table.
  • Ehrmann reported that the “Post unit is growing because News is blossoming.” A membership drive will start there on Jan. 17. 
  • Parks and Treasurer Amy Lampkin (AFL-CIO) reported on post-election layoffs expected at federation headquarters. Lampkin said that the initial plan was to lay off 60 employees (including management and other bargaining units). Even though 27 workers took buyouts, she said, management is still looking for 55 more. Layoffs are producing “battles and arbitrations” and are being used to “get rid of people they don’t want or like.”
  • Ehrmann reported that National Association of Social Workers management has ordered unpaid furloughs. The Guild is scheduled to meet with management there next week.
  • The schedule for the five General Membership meetings in 2017 was approved: Jan. 31 (7 p.m.), Washington office. Installation of WBNG officers for 2017-18. April 1 (10 a.m.), Baltimore office. Nomination for delegates to TNG sector conference and CWA convention. July 19 (7 p.m.), Washington office. Front Page Awards ceremony. Sept. 9 (10 a.m.), Baltimore office. Dec. 9 (10 a.m.), Washington office.
  • Council approved the purchase of a half-page ad and two tickets for the Washington D.C. Metro CLC Evening With Labor.
  • Council learned of a MLK Jr. Holiday Ball fundraiser set for Jan. 15. The fundraiser will benefit the AFL-CIO Labor Heritage Foundation.
  • The next council meeting was set for Feb. 21, in Washington.