November 20, 2019 – Executive Council 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  Motion to approve was withdrawn and polls were deferred until the next meeting.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.