December 7, 2019 General Membership Minutes

WASHINGTON-BALTIMORE NEWS GUILD

Minutes of General Membership Meeting

December 7, 2019

 

Steve Cook (Bloomberg Industries Group) president, presiding.

There was insufficient attendance at the meeting for a quorum.

President’s report: Cook said he is focusing on monopoly issues in his work as Region 2 vice president on TNG’s Sector Executive Council, principally the Gannett-Gatehouse merger and Alden Global Capital’s becoming the single largest stockholder of Tribune Co.

2020 meeting schedule: Meeting dates for the year were discussed. A draft was distributed. After discussion, Cook said he would tweak the dates and submit them as an Executive Council board poll.

Permanent filling of Executive Council vacancy: With no quorum, no nominations (or vote, if needed) to permanently fill the Executive Council at-large delegate vacancy could be conducted. It was deferred to the January membership meeting.

North Carolina AFL-CIO: The unit signed a three-year contract with management, calling for raises of 7.4% in 0220, 3% in 2021 and 2% in 2022. There is also an additional paid holiday, update job descriptions. A management staff review process was OKd in the contract, but management cannot use it for discipline.

Southern Poverty Law Center: Management gave the Guild 24 legal fellows positions in the bargaining unit, bringing the number to 240-plus. Representation ballots were to be counted Dec. 16.

Good and Welfare: Jazmin Gargoum (at-large) brought up continuing issues about not meeting quorum at the Executive Council, with no incentive for attending — or sanction for unexcused absences.

Cook said a Working America member asked if the local has a Christmas party. The answer has been no, and there’s no budget assigned to it. The New York local has one, and posted pictures of it.

There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Mark Pattison (Catholic News Service)

Washington-Baltimore News Guild

December 7, 2109 EC Minutes

WASHINGTON-BALTIMORE NEWS GUILD

Minutes of Executive Council Meeting

DECEMBER 7, 2019

 

Present: Steve Cook (Bloomberg Industries Group), president; Elise Bryant (at-large), vice president; Justin Moyer (Washington Post), treasurer; at-large delegates: Joel Gratz (AFL-CIO), Katie Mettler (Post); Washington Post: Marissa Lang; Small Units and Members: Tim Fitzgerald (American Postal Workers Union), Mark Gruenberg (at-large); Mark Pattison (Catholic News Service); Jeremy Sprinkle (North Carolina AFL-CIO).

Excused: David DeJesus (Post).

Absent: AFL-CIO: Dan Gabor; Agence France-Presse: Rob Lever; American Nurses Association: Don Griesheimer; Baltimore Sun: Scott Dance; Bloomberg Industries Group: Ben Cooper, Hassan Kanu; Radio Free Asia: Karma Zurkhang; United Food and Commercial Workers: Lydia Ealey; Washington Post: Tom Jackman, Fred Kunkle; at-large delegates: Hau Chu (Post), Fatima Hussein (BIG), Michelle Wang (Radio Free Asia); Small Units and Members: Lillyanne Daigle (E-L & Associates), Ed Fortney (SEIU 500), Tamara McCalla (HPAE), Bryan Nelson (HPAE), Sam Nelson (Jobs With Justice), Bill O’Meara (at-large), Ben Solowey (Foreign Policy).

  • There was no quorum.
  • All items and potential agenda items were covered during the general membership meeting which immediately preceded the Executive Council meeting.
  • Cook adjourned the meeting.

Respectfully submitted,

Mark Pattison (Catholic News Service)

Washington Baltimore News Guild

 

November 20, 2019 EC Meeting

Washington-Baltimore News Guild

Executive Council Meeting Minutes

Date of Meeting: November 20, 2019

Present:  Elise Bryant, Hau Chu, Lillyanne Daigle, David DeJesus, Tim Fitzgerald, Dan Gabor, Joel Gratz, Don Griesheimer, Mark Gruenberg, Fatima Hussein, Tom Jackman, Robert Lever, Tamara McCalla, Katie Mettler, Justin Moyer, Sam Nelson, Bryan Nelson, Bill O’Meara, Mark Pattison, Jeremy Sprinkle

Excused:  Steve Cook, Eric Geist, Bruce Jett

Staff:  Rick Ehrmann, Cet Parks, Paul Reilly

I. Minutes

  • October 16, 2019 – Mark Pattison motioned to approve with amendments, and motion was seconded.  Motion passed.
  • Board Polls – At Large Vacancy and MD & DC AFL-CIO 32nd Biennial Convention – Mark Pattison motioned to approve; however, corrections were needed for both polls.  Motion to approve was withdrawn and polls were deferred until the next meeting.

II. Membership Report (No Aptify Stats)

  • Mark Gruenberg motioned to approve, and motion was seconded.  Motion passed.

III. Executive Director’s Report & Staff (Nov. 19)

Cet Parks

  • UFCW – Unit leadership requested approval of bargaining committee consisting of Unit Chair Lydia Ealey, Lori Richards, Evan Yeats, Sibyl Edwards, Sara Gann, Abe Silk, Alan Troyan and Chris Johansson.  Sam Nelson motioned to approve, and motion was seconded.  Motion passed.

Rick Ehrmann

  • No action items.

Paul Reilly

  • AFP – Tentative agreement reached on contact and EC approval was requested. Sam Nelson motioned to approve, and motion was seconded.  Motion passed.

Eric Geist

  • No action items.

Bruce Jett

  • No action items

IV. Financials

  • Summary of Financial Highlights – September 19 – Cet Parks gave an update on September financials.  Dave DeJesus motioned to approve September financials, and motion was seconded.  Motion passed.
  • Bob Paul and Herbert Fishgold Invoice for Oct. 19 – Discussed – No action items.
  • Michael Wolf Invoice for July 23, 2019 – Discussed – No action items.
  • Gail R. Smith, Esq. Invoice for October 19, 2019 – Discussed – No action items.
  • SEIU Local 500 Invoice – Discussed – No action items.

V. Old Business

  • Human Rights Committee Report – Dave DeJesus provided update and noted the need for a more balanced committee (need additional women recruits on the committee).  Next committee meeting scheduled for December.
  • Organizing Committee Repot – Fatima Hussein provided update on committee actions (mentoring program for various unit members, interaction with new units and EC
  • Bylaws Committee Report – Sam Nelson provided progress update and projects to have a completion date in December and present to EC in January.
  • Presidents Report – President Steve Cook was not available to review.  Report presented by Vice President Elise Bryant.  Of major concern is the merger between the Gatehouse and Gannett newspaper chains.  There were no action items.
  • VP Report/Coalition of Labor Union Women – Elise Bryant provided update on her involvement with the Coalition of Labor Union Women convention in Las Vegas, NV – noting that the conference and its workshops were a huge success.
  • JWJ Education Fund – Sam Nelson speaks to JWJ national conference in March 13 & 14, 2020 in Atlanta, GA.

VI. New Business

  • Labor Notes Conference – Discussed sending delegates.  Conference will be held in Chicago, April 17-19, 2020.  Early bird deadline is February 28, 2020.  Discussed additional training opportunities for members that could be funded by Darlene Meyer Fund.  Further discussion emphasized training priority given to members who have never been trained.  Agreed to revisit discussion at next meeting.
  • TNG Election – Katie Mettler discusses importance of upcoming election and unit chairs reminding members to vote, and/or using action network. 
  • Cet Parks speaks to inquiries from Scott Edmonson (SERC) regarding Post and AFL email lists in regard to elections rules.
  • Dan Gabor speaks to Action Network workshop in December 4, 2019 from 1-5 PM.  Dan to send further communication regarding.
  • Gift Card Program – Katie Mettler (Washington Post) proposed opting out the Local’s gift card program for the Washington Post and BNA units beginning January 1, 2020, due to the expense of the program to the local.  The gift card program provides a $50 incentive to a unit’s employees who join the guild.  Katie proposes instead to set aside budget for tee shirts to replace the program.
  • Maine AFL-CIO Affiliation Form – Cet Parks speaks to the issue of members in different states who request their per capita to go to where they are located, the local would abide by that request.  A request was made by a member in Maine to redirect per capita to Maine AFL-CIO instead of MD/DC AFL-CIO.  No action necessary.
  • Bloomberg BNA Holiday Party – Fatima Hussein motioned for consideration of funding for up to $1,000 for a organizing/holiday event to be used as platform to rebuild the Bloomberg Industry Group.  Motion was seconded.
  • Joel Gratz questioned if there was sufficient budget to fund the event which was answered in the affirmative.  After additional questions and discussion, the motion passed.
  • Front Page Awards – Katie Mettler proposed to start planning next year’s Front Page Awards program in order to get the program back on schedule by establishing a timeline by early 2020.

VII. Good & Welfare

  • Elise Bryant (VP) updates EC on DC Labor Chorus Annual Evening of Songs free concert at Wesley United Methodist Church on Dec. 7, 2019.
  • Minority Leadership Initiative – EC should look at this as a training opportunity to attend every year.

VIII. Personnel Caucus

  • No action items.

IX. Adjournment

  • Motioned to adjourn and motion was seconded.  Meeting adjourned at 8:50 PM.

October 16, 2019 Executive Council Meeting

Washington-Baltimore News Guild
Executive Council Meeting Minutes
Date of Meeting: October 16, 2019

Present: Hau Chu, Steve Cook, David DeJesus, Ed Fortney, Dan Gabor, Jasmine Gargoum, Joel
Gratz, Don Griesheimer, Fatima Hussein, Tom Jackman, Freddy Kunkle, Marissa Lang, Katie
Mettler, Justin Moyer, Sam Nelson, Bill O’Meara, Mark Pattison, Ben Soloway, Jeremy Sprinkle

Excused: Elise Bryant, Mark Gruenberg, Karma Zurkhang

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

Meeting was called to order at 7:17 PM

I. Minutes

  • July 20, 2019 – Hau Chu motions to approve minutes and motion was seconded. Motions passes to approve July 20, 2109 minutes.
  • August 21, 2019 – Hau Chu motions to approve minutes and motion was seconded. Motion passes to approve August 21, 2019 minutes.
  • September 21, 2019 – Mark Pattison motions to approve minutes and motion was seconded. Motion passes to approve September 21, 2019 minutes.

II. Membership Report (No Aptify Stats)

  • August 21, 2019 & September 21, 2019 – Justin Moyer motions to approve the August and September membership reports and motion was seconded. Motion passes to approve August 21 and September 21, 2019 membership reports.

III. Executive Director’s Report & Staff (Sep & Oct)

Cet Parks

  • Baltimore Sun – request approval of July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 contract extension. Justin Moyer motions to approve the request and motion was seconded. Motion passes.
  • Solidarity Center –tentative contract agreement reached – requests council approval of contract. Tom Jackman motions to approve and motion was seconded. Motion passes.
  • Florida AFL-CIO – requests approval of the bargaining committee consisting of Jerimiah Tattersall, Phyllis Garrett and Cet Parks. Hau Chu motions to approve and motion was seconded. Motion passes.
  • UFCW – requests retroactive authority to arbitrate Evan Yeats disciplinary action. Ed Fortney motions to approve and the motion was seconded. Motion passes.
  • AFT NEROP – requests retroactive authority to arbitrate David Thomas termination. Justin Moyer motions to approve and motion was seconded. Motion passes.

Rick Ehrmann

  • Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF) – requests approval of new SAF contract. Jeremy Sprinkle motions to approve contract ratification, and motion was seconded. Motion passes.
  • NC State AFL-CIO – requests approval of bargaining committee consisting of Jeremy Sprinkle, Aiden Graham, and Rick Ehrmann. Motion passes.
  • Center for Popular Democracy – requests council approval of bargaining committee consisting of Maggie Corser, Michelle Kilpatrick, Dean Mendolera, Francesca Menes, Kate Terenzi and Rick Ehrmann. Hau Chu motions to approve and motion was seconded. Motion passes.

Paul Riley

  • AFT-NEROP – requests council approval on new three year contract. Justin Moyer motions to approve and the motion was seconded. Motion passes.
  • AFP – requests approval of bargaining team consisting of Rob Lever, Katie Schubauer, Elodie Cuzin, Ian Timberlake, Heather Scott, Paul Sherno and Paul Reilly. Justin Moyer motions to approve and the motion was seconded. Motion passes.
  • American Prospect – requests council approval of bargaining team consisting of Marcia Brown, Jonathon Guyer, Alex Sammon and Paul Riley. Hau Chu motions to approve and motion is seconded. Motion passes.

Bruce Jett

  • League of Conservation Voters – requests council approval of bargaining team consisting of Liz Jacobs, Emily Woodland, Kevin O’Brien, Jose Dominguez, Tiffany Hsieh, Sammi Sluder and Bruce Jett. Justin Moyer motions to approve and motion is seconded. Motion passes.
  • United for Respect – requests council approval of bargaining team consisting of Kendra Cornejo, Maria Rojas and Bruce Jett. Justin Moyer motions to approve and motion is seconded. Motion passes.

Eric Geist

  • No action items.

IV. Financials

Summary of Financial Highlights – July 19, 2019

  • Mark Pattison motions to approve July financial report and motion is seconded. Motion passes.

Summary of Financial Highlights – August 19, 2019

  • Mark Pattison motions to approve August financial report and motion is seconded. Motion passes.

Bob Paul’s invoice – September 19, 2019 & others

  • Justin Moyer motions “The Executive Director, President, Treasurer and the local staff as directed by the executive director shall initiate all contact and communications with WBNG legal counsel. The Executive director shall notify retained legal counsel that that no other WBNG member shall initiate contact with WBNG legal counsel that will be billable. This shall not prevent legal counsel from contacting members regarding ongoing matters where contact has already been approved by the ED, president or treasurer. As appropriate when matters are brought to legal counsel and approved for work by the legal counsel, the ED, President or treasurer shall inquire about the expected scope of the work being approved in terms of billable hours. The ED, President and Treasurer shall make every effort to consider if issue to be referred to legal counsel can be resolved or answered in some less costly manner”.
  • The motion is seconded and motion passes.

Budget 2020

  • Justin Moyer motions to approve a draft budget for 2021/22 by December 31, 2019 and motion is seconded. Mark Pattison presents a friendly amendment to change the date to 2020 and the amended motion is accepted. Motion passes.

V. Old Business

MD State & DC – AFL-CIO Convention

  • A roll call vote failed due to lack of quorum, and the motion was moved to a board poll.

MD State & DC AFL-CIO Delegates

  • No action taken.

HPAE Investigation

  • Fatima Hussein acting as prosecutor for EC regarding charges against Bryan Nelson (HPAE) recommends that no charges should be pursued against Bryan Nelson.

Support for Nascent Guild unit/Arizona Republic

  • Mark Pattison requested EC to consider support for Guild unit at Arizona Republic. After discussion it was recommended that EC reach out to Stephanie Basile for further direction.

JWJ Education Fund

  • Deferred to next meeting.

CWA PAF

  • Jeremy Sprinkle motions to make a donation of 10 cents per member or $157 to the CWA Pediatric Aids Foundation and motion is seconded. Motions fails approval.

American Prospect 30th Anniversary Gala/Testimonial

  • No action taken.

President and Steward Training Reports

  • Steve Cook discussed Steward Training facilitated by Elise Bryant and Jason Albright.

VI. New Business

CPD 2019 NYC Gala

  • No action taken.

Labor Notes Conference

  • Deferred to next EC meeting.

Executive Council Vacancy

  • Two candidates were nominated to replace the At-Large delegate seat held by Latisha Harvey (Joel Gratz and Jasmine Gargoum). A roll call vote was taken but lacked quorum to establish a valid vote, and a vote will be conducted by Board Poll.

TNG Election

  • Katie Mettler discussed importance of upcoming TNG election and requested EC to send out a notice to inform members.

VII. Good & Welfare

  • No action taken.

VIII. Personnel Caucus

  • No action taken.

IX. Adjournment

  • Mark Pattison motions to adjourn and the motion is seconded. Motion passes and meeting was adjourned.

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