April 22, 2020 – Executive Council 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.