Washington-Baltimore News Guild
Executive Council Meeting Minutes
Date of Meeting: August 21, 2019
EC Present: Hau Chu, Steve Cook, Lillyanne Daigle, David DeJesus, Tim Fitzgerald, Ed Fortney, Dan Gabor, Don Griesheimer, Mark Gruenberg, Fatima Hussein, Freddy Kunkle, Katie Mettler, Justin Moyer, Bryan Nelson, Bill O’Meara, Mark Pattison, Jeremy Sprinkle, Michelle Wang
Excused: Elise Bryant, Sam Nelson
Staff & Guests: Rick Ehrmann, Paul Reilly, Cet Parks
Meeting called to order at 7:05 PM
July 20, 2019
• Mark Pattison motioned to approve minutes and motion was seconded. Joel Gratz requested to speak on minutes reflecting possible lack of EC member quorum, and general membership members making motions at the EC meeting.
• Freddy Kunkle and Jazmin Gargoum also pointed out that names of some EC members appeared to be missing from EC roll call.
• Secretary DeJesus stated some agenda items which were part of the EC meeting packet were discussed at the General Membership meeting (Executive Director’s Report & Staff), addressing Joel Gratz’s motion procedures concern.
• After further discussion Dan Gabor makes a friendly amendment to the motion, to delay approval of minutes until revisions are made and presented at next EC meeting. Motion was seconded. Motion to defer July 20, 2019 until next EC minutes was passed.
II. Membership Report and Stats
• July 20, 2019 – August 21, 2019. Don Griesheimer motions to approve membership report and motion was seconded. Motion passes to approve July 2019 membership report.
III. Executive Director’s Report & Staff
• Real News Network – requests approval of contract. Hau Chu motions to approve and motion was seconded. Motion to approve Real News Network contract passes.
• SEIU 500 – requests approval of SEIU contract extension. Hua Chu motions to approve and motion was seconded. Motion to approve SEIU contract passes.
• HPAE – requests approval of HPAE contract. Bill O’Meara motions to approve and motion was seconded. Motion to approve HPAE contract passes.
• Baltimore Sun –Cet Parks provides update on key bargaining issues. Bill O’ Meara recommends putting through SIF request for Baltimore Sun bargaining. No action items.
• UFCW – requests discretionary authority to arbitrate Amy Ritter case. Mark Pattison motions to approve and motion was seconded. Motion to arbitrate Amy Ritter case passes.
• UFCW – requests discretionary authority to arbitrate Holly Bigelow case. Don Gabor motions to approve and motion was seconded. Motion to arbitrate Holly Bigelow case passes.
• UFCW – requests discretionary authority to arbitrate Telecommuting case. Hau Chu motions to approve and motion was seconded. Motion to arbitrate UFCW Telecommuting case passes.
• Cet Parks provided update on upcoming Stewards Training event scheduled for September 28, 2019. Dan Gabor recommends using Action Network to assist member RSVP’s for the event, Lillyanne Daigle volunteered to assist.
• No action items
• Foreign Policy – requests approval of contract pending ratification by members. Mark Gruenberg motions to approve and motion was seconded. Motion to approve contract contingent on ratification passes.
• Radio Free Asia – Michelle Wang, Paul Reilly, Cet Parks and Steve Cook discuss concerns regarding handling of title reclassification issue at RFA.
• No action items
• No action items
Summary of Financial Highlights June 19
• Cet Parks reviews legal costs associated with Radio Free Asia/Huidong Cao arbitration as requested at a prior meeting (Don Griesheimer). Don Griesheimer spoke to a need of best practices going forward when EC issues a decision on arbitration, and that decision is overridden by general membership.
• Cet Parks reviews June 2019 financial report. Mark Pattison motioned to approve June 2019 financial report, and the motion was seconded. After further discussion, the Motion to approve June 2019 financial report passes.
Bob Paul Invoices for July 2019
• No action items.
Bob Paul’s Retainer
• Justin Moyer motions to defer discussion to next council meeting, and motion was seconded. Motion to defer Bob Paul Retainer discussion to next EC meeting passes.
Extension of Bruce’s and Eric’s Contract
• Cet Park discussed contract status of Bruce Jett and Eric Geist and requests council to renew their contracts for six months. Bill O’Meara motions to approve contract extensions and the motion was seconded.
• Justin Moyer motioned a friendly amendment to accept contract extension contingent upon a freeze of future external organizing activities, due to fiscal constraints. Motion was seconded. Bill O’Meara declined acceptance of friendly amendment.
• After further discussion on this issue, Dan Gabor motioned to reclassify Bruce Jett as a bargaining unit member similar to other professional staff/full time staff member, and motion was seconded.
• Bill O’Meara declined friendly amendment to reclassify Bruce as a full time staff member, and after further discussion Bill O’Meara called the question to end debate. A vote was taken and motion to call the question passes.
• A vote was taken on Bill O’Meara motion to extend the contracts of Bruce Jett and Eric Geist. Motion to extend Jett and Geist contracts for six months passes.
• Mark Pattison proposed a substitute motion to establish a search committee to examine the financial feasibility of bringing on an organizer onto the staff, and if feasibility is demonstrated, to move forward with hiring process. The motion was seconded.
• There were further discussions regarding budgetary impact of sustaining a full time employment, and potential legal implications of continually extending contracts.
• Dan Gabor rejected all friendly amendments to his motion and called the question on reclassifying Bruce Jett.
• A roll call vote was taken Mark Pattison motion to establish a search committee to examine the financial feasibility of bringing on an organizer onto the staff, with (6) yes votes and (10) no votes. The motion was not adopted.
• A vote was taken on Dan Gabor’s motion to direct Executive Director Cet Parks to reclassify Bruce Jett as a member of the unit represented by tits collective bargaining agreement, consistent with other full time employees. A roll call vote was taken with (11) yes votes, (4) no votes and (1) abstention. The motion passes.
V. Old Business
TNG Election Re-run
• Katie Mettler spoke on TNG election re-run and presented information to assist maintaining current member addresses and contact information to encourage voter turnout. There was additional discussion on communication processes to engage unit membership.
CWA Convention/Funding our Fight for the Future
• Steve Cook gave update on key issues covered at CWA Convention.
• Fatima Hussein provided update on HPAE investigation. There will be a report to the EC prior to or at the next EC meeting.
Press Associates Invoice
• After discussion Mark Pattison motions to continue payment of Press Associations invoice. Motion passes to continue payment of Press Associates invoice.
Front Page Awards Ceremony – Scheduling
• Jazmin Gargoum provided update on Front Page awards program venue and planning. Requested approval for funding event at Mindspace at cost of $3,000 to cover venue, licensing, food and beverage costs.
• Dan Gabor motions to approve proposal and motion was seconded. Dan Griesheimer discusses third party liability concern (insurance). After further discussion Freddy Kunkle calls the question to end discussion. After a vote, the motion passes to end debate.
• Motion to approve Front Page Awards Ceremony proposal passes. It was agreed that Jazmin Gargoum would look into insurance liability issues as discussed.
VI. New Business
MD State & DC AFL-CIO Convention
• Dan Gabor motions to respond to the letter to attend the MD State & DC AFL-CIO Convention and motion was seconded. Motion passes.
Organizing Committee Report
• Next organizing meeting to discuss internal vs external organizing issue and assistance with address functions will be held at a date to be determined.
Bylaws Committee Report
• No action items
Stewards Committee Notes
• Previously discussed
VII. Good & Welfare
• Black Women’s Pay Equity Day
• The Moment Was Now play
VIII. Personnel Caucus
• No action items
• Dan Gabor motions to adjourn and motion is seconded. Motion passes and meeting is adjourned at 10:05 PM.