January 19th, 2022 – Executive Council Meeting

January 19th, 2022 – Executive Council Meeting
Washington-Baltimore News Guild
Executive Council Meeting Minutes
Date of Meeting: January 19th, 2022


Staff: Cet Parks; Bruce Jett; Paul Reilly; Sammi Sluder; Evan Yeats;
Officers: Dan Gabor; Katie Mettler; Pratheek Rebala;
Executive Council: Jason Albright; Elise Bryant; Carl Charles; David Dejesus; Daniela Galarza; Jazmin Gargoum; Nina Goldman; Don Griesheimer; Andrew Kreignbaum; Marissa Lang; Sam Nelson; Sophia Nguyen; Mark Pattison; Grace Sheedy; Jeremy Sprinkle; Sam Trueblood; Michelle Wang; Drew Waxman; Joe Yerardi;

Contracts Approved: Island Packet

Bargaining Committees Approved: Lambda Legal; Virginia ACLU; The American Independent; Metropolitan Washington Council; Color of Change; Jewish Voice for Peace;

Meeting was called to order at 7:08 PM

Installation of new officers:

Dan Gabor introduced NewsGuild President Jon Schleuss to administer the oath of office for the new officers and executive council members. 

Oath of office was presented and the following members of the executive council were sworn in: 

  • Jason Albright (Bloomberg)
  • Elise Bryant (At-large)
  • Carl Charles (Lambda Legal)
  • Dave DeJesus (Washington Post)
  • Caleb-Michael Files (AFL-CIO)
  • Daniela Galarza (Washington Post)
  • Jazmin Gargoum (At-Large)
  • Nina Goldman (Foreign Policy)
  • Don Griesheimer (American Nurses Association)
  • Fatima Hussein (Bloomberg)
  • Andrew Kreighbaum (Bloomberg)
  • Marissa Lang (Washington Post)
  • Sam Nelson (Jobs with Justice)
  • Sophia Nguyen (Washington Post)
  • Mark Pattison (Catholic News)
  • Grace Sheedy (AFL-CIO)
  • Jeremy Sprinkle (North Carolina AFL-CIO)
  • Sam Trueblood (AFL-CIO)
  • Michelle Wang (Radio Free Asia)
  • Drew Waxman (AFL-CIO)
  • Joe Yerardi (Center for Public Integrity)

In addition, the following officers were sworn in:

  • President: Dan Gabor (AFL-CIO)
  • Vice President: Katie Mettler (Washington Post)
  • Treasurer: Justin Moyer (Washington Post)
  • Secretary: Pratheek Rebala (Center for Public Integrity)

Presidents’ Remarks:

President Gabor made a statement recognizing the contributions of former president Fatima Hussein and expressed gratitude for the members of the staff who have been working tirelessly to grow our union. Gabor highlighted the units at Politico, SPLC and others who are currently bargaining their first contract. Gabor also announced that Concerted Action, a D.C. area based labor consulting firm would be the newest WBNG union of 2022.

Consent Agenda:

  • Approval of Executive Council Meeting minutes from Dec 15th, 2021.
  • Approval of the membership report.
  • Approval of board poll establishing meeting schedule for 2022.
  • Approval of the financial report.
  • Approval of legal fees.
  • Approval of a three-year contract for the Island Packet.
  • Approval of the following bargaining teams:
    • Lambda Legal: Jenna Butz, Carl Charles, Amy Cook, Omar Gonzalez Pagan, Kara Inglehart, Jacob Clifton and alternates Abel Clemente, Amanda Boyajian, Andres Gallegos, Jamie Farnsworth, Leo Miras, Rachel Rosenthal, Richard Saenz, Shelly Skeen, Neela Taub.
    • Virginia ACLU: Marcie Hampton, Cameron Washington, Mateo Gasparotto, and Sam Hart.
    • The American Independent: Casey Quinlan and Matt Cohen.

Don Griesheimer moved to accept the consent agenda, seconded by David DeJesus. Motion Carries.

Staff Reports:

Steve Cook requested council approval for the bargaining team at Metropolitan Washington Council: Chris Garlock and Steve Cook. Mark Pattison moved to approve, Sam Nelson seconded. Motion Carries.

Eric Geist requested council approval for additional members of bargaining committee at Color of Change: Luaree Akinola-Massaquoi, Kaya Dantzler, Sherill Dingle, Khayla Doby, Erick Fernandez, Angel Han, Stasia Hansen, Ina Padua, Jae Passmore, FolaSade Pyne, Gabrielle Rejouis, Madison Sherman, Natalie Wong. Don Greshimer moved to accept, Samuel Nelson seconded. Motion Carries.

Eric Geist requested council approval for the bargaining committee at Jewish Voice for Peace: D Granberg, Emily Kaplan. Grace Sheedy moved to accept, Jazmin Gargoum seconded. Motion Carries.

New Business:

  • Elise presented a motion to authorize the use of the Darlene Meyer Fund to send between four and six members to the African-American Union Leadership conference. Pratheek Rebala seconded. Motion Carries.
  • Dan Gabor established the following committees and appointed their chairpersons:
    • Organizing: Dan Gabor (Interim)
    • Communications: Grace Sheedy
    • Bylaws: Samuel Nelson
    • Human Rights: Carl Charles
    • Admin/Operations: Pratheek Rebala
    • Education: Elise Bryant
    • Finance: Justin Moyer
    • Front Page Awards: Jazmin Gargoum

Good and Welfare:

  • Alec Wilcosky proposed the formation of a caucus consisting of members at labor staff unions.
  • Donna Cartwright requested that information about committees be disseminated to all members. Dan Gabor clarified that the next monthly newsletter will include information about the newest committee chairs and information on how to volunteer on the committees.
  • Dan Gabor called on members to reach out with additional items to include in the newsletter including potential labor actions and updates on bargaining and negotiations.

Personnel Caucus:

  • Evan Yeats requested EC approval to organize [redacted], a progressive non-profit. Don Greisheimer moved, Jeremy Sprinkle seconded. Motion Carries.
  • Katie Mettler implored that new organizing discussions should include disclaimer that WBNG is a journalism local and would not be advocating for specific political positions outside of issues directly relating to rights of workers. Evan Yeats clarified that initial organizing conversations include the disclaimer that while the unions themselves are free to express and advocate political positions, WBNG would generally refrain from doing so.
  • Dan Gabor proposed requiring approval from the organizing committee before new units are presented to the executive council. Gabor asked council members and staff to be cognizant of resource constraints of the local when evaluating potential organizing leads.
  • Dan Gabor proposed an executive council retreat for late June or early July to discuss the strategic planning report and establish priorities for the local. This meeting will be held in Washington, D.C. and the local will bear the travel costs for EC members who are not based in D.C.

David DeJesus moved to adjourn the meeting, Elise Bryant seconded.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:01 PM.