February 17, 2021 – Executive Council Meeting

Washington-Baltimore News Guild

Executive Council Meeting Minutes

Date of Meeting: February 17, 2021

Present: Sarah Adkisson, Jason Albright, Peter Brusoe, Elise Bryant, Donna Cartwright, Carl Charles, Hau Chu, David DeJesus, Graham Fortier, Dan Gabor, Joel Gratz, Nina Goldman, Fatima Hussein, Tom Jackman, Marissa Lang, Katie Mettler, Justin Moyer, Sam Nelson, Mark Pattison, Pratheek Rebala, Lillian Reed, Grace Sheedy, Jeremy Sprinkle, Joseph Yerardi, Emily Woodall

Excused: Freddy Kunkle

Unexcused: Michelle Wang, Emily Woodall

Staff & Guests: Cet Parks, Paul Reilly, Evan Yeats

Meeting called to order at 7:54 PM

I. Installation of Officers

  • Fatima Hussein introduced Jon Schleuss who will administer the oath of office for the new officers. Oath of office is presented, and new members of the executive council are sworn in.
  • President Hussein addresses the issue of agenda and concerns of levels of secrecy and clarifies that there is a need to protect the levels of integrity of documents and information we are entrusted with, regarding information shared in our meeting packets and documents.
  • Introduction of Evan Yeats as new rep replacing Rick Ehrmann, and Peter Brusoe as parliamentarian. Update on EC rules, unexcused and excused absences, bylaws, and board poll responses.

II. Consent Agenda

  1. EC Minutes – Jan. 13, 2021
  2. Board Poll – January 24, 2021 (Jamal Khashoggi Way)
  3. Membership Report (Jan. 13, 2021 – Feb. 17, 2021)
  4. Financials (Dec. 31, 2020)
  • Justin Moyer introduces rules of consent agenda. Jeremy Sprinkle motioned to approve consent agenda, seconded by Justin Moyer. Motion Passed.

III. Executive Director’s Report & Staff

Cet Parks

  • UFCW – Requested discretionary authority for filing ULP against UFCW for regressive bargaining and bargaining in bad faith. Jeremy Sprinkle motioned to approve and seconded by Sam Nelson. Motion Passed.
  • America Votes – Requested discretionary authority to move forward with merger/affiliation of the America Votes Workers Union. Jeremy Sprinkle motioned to approve, seconded by Mark Pattison. Motion Passed.
  • Matt Fogarty Freelance Discipline – Dan Gabor motioned to give Cet discretionary authority to arbitrate, seconded by Grace Sheedy. Motion Passed.

Paul Reilly

  • Roanoke Times – Requested retroactive council approval to file a ULP. Sam Nelson motioned to approve, seconded by Carl Charles. Motion Passed.
  • JWJ – Requested council approval to file of new three-year contract. Sam Nelson motioned to approve, seconded by Graham Fortier. Motion Passed.
  • Casa de Maryland – requested council approval of one-year contract extension. Tom Jackman motioned to approve, seconded by Jeremy Sprinkle. Motion Passed.

IV. Old Business

Finance & Strategic Planning Committee Final Report

  • Justin Moyer/Joel Gratz presents overview of an evaluation of two key areas of the local’s expenses – legal costs and expenses related to organizing. Also presented key recommendations and next steps – process, timeline, understanding WBNG expenses, and fulfilling WBNG mission. Graham Fortier motioned to approve adoption of the report. Motion Passed.

V. New Business

Formation of Committees

  • Organizing Committee – Graham Fortier is appointed chair and Bruce Jett as staff liaison.
  • Finance Committee – Justin Moyer is appointed chair and Cet Parks as staff liaison.
  • Communications Committee – Grace Sheedy is appointed chair.
  • Bylaws Committee – Sam Nelson is appointed chair.
  • Human Rights Committee – TBD
  • Education Committee – Elise Bryant is appointed chair.
  • Administration & Operations Committee – Dan Gabor is appointed chair.
  • Front Page Awards – Peter Brusoe is appointed chair.
  • Small Units Caucus – In Development
  • ERC Committee – Open
  • Assignment of EC Members to Units
  • EC members will be assigned to unit/unit chair to promote communications within the units and local. Jazmin Gargoum requests if descriptions of committees can be provided. List of units and assignments to be distributed, and reach outs encouraged by the next EC meeting.

VI. Good & Welfare

  • Sexual Harassment, Discrimination Training – Cet gave an update on TNG’s sex harassment training which can be provided to our local’s EC and unit chairs (March or later date TBD). Katie Mettler proposes scheduling board poll of suggested dates.
  • Elections & Referendum Committee Report – President Fatima Hussein reviews ERC Report. Dan Gabor motioned to approve the adoption of the report. Motion Passed.
  • Jazmin Gargoum presented questions on agenda and meeting packets.

VII. Personal Caucus

  • Elise motioned to move into personnel caucus, seconded by Peter Brusoe.
  • Evan Yeats – Cet Parks announces Evan Yeats hire to replace Rick Ehrmann who retired and discussed overall interview process.
  • Eric Geist Contract – did not get the Rick Ehrmann open position and requested increase in pay and incentives. To show appreciation for his work and overall efforts, Cet Parks recommends approval of increase (one-year contract). There was discussion on SIF funding to assist staffing efforts. Dan Gabor motioned to approve, seconded by Peter Brusoe. Motion Passed.
  • Rick Ehrmann vacation request – Rick Ehrmann had 20 weeks of unused vacation on the books and is requesting 10 of the remaining 20 weeks of vacation. After a lengthy debate Jeremy Sprinkle motioned to pay out the vacation pay. Motioned Passed.
  • Peter Brusoe – motioned to study/conduct vacation pay analysis.  A motion to call the question was introduced and the Motion Passed. 
  • Motion Passed to approve staff vacation analysis.

VIII. Adjournment

  • Peter Brusoe motioned to adjourn, seconded by Dan Gabor. Meeting adjourned at 10 PM.