June 19, 2019 – Executive Council Meeting

Washington-Baltimore News Guild
Executive Council Meeting Minutes
Date of Meeting: June 19, 2019, 7:06 PM

Present: Elise Bryant, Hau Chu, Steve Cook, Lillyanne Daigle, David DeJesus, Lydia Ealey, Tim Fitzgerald, Ed Fortney, Dan Gabor, Don Griesheimer, Fatima Hussein, Tom Jackman, Marissa Lang, Katie Mettler, Justin Moyer, Sam Nelson, Bryan Nelson, Bill O’Meara, Ben Soloway, Jeremy Sprinkle, Michelle Wang

Excused: Mark Gruenberg, Mark Pattison, Lila Zuzula

Staff & Guests: Ken Gude (Save Journalism), Gene Bruskin (The Moment was Now)

HPAE Guests (in support of HPAE Unit Chair): Christine Munck, Dawn Baker, Alex Kulenovic, Christian Berk, John Connelly, Kayleigh Madormo, Danielle Newsome, Marcus Presley, Aarti Patel, Patrick Gibson

I.  Minutes and Board Polls

May 15, 2019

  • Motion was made to accept and was seconded. Minutes of the previous meeting were approved as corrected.  Motion Passes.

Board Poll (June 5, 2019)

  • Sam Nelson motions to approve Board Poll to purchase a table for the Salute to Leadership Awards Dinner at cost of $1,500. Motion was seconded by Don Griesheimer.  Motion Passes.

Board Poll (May 28, 2019)

  • Sam Nelson motions to approve Board Poll to purchase a block of tickets (minimum 50 tickets) for Labor Night at Nationals Park baseball game on June 22, 2019. Motion Passes.

II.  Membership Report and Stats

  • May 15 – June 20, 2019 – Don Griesheimer motions to approve and was seconded. Cet Parks discusses new Amplify program to track membership reports.  Motion Passes.

III.  Executive Director’s Report & Staff

Cet Parks

  • Chesapeake and Tidewater units – Cet requests approval of the joint coordinated bargaining ground rules for the Chesapeake and Tidewater units. Don Griesheimer motions to accept and motion was seconded.  Motion Passes.
  • Baltimore Sun – Correction to remove Hallie Miller’s name from Sun bargaining team. Ed Fortney motions to amend last month’s report and was seconded.  Motion Passes.
  • Working America – Working America contract agreement reached and ratified by unit. Request for EC approval of contract.  Don Griesheimer motions to approve and motion was seconded.  Motion Passes.
  • UFCW – requests discretionary authority to move several grievances to arbitration. Discussion by unit chair Lori Richards and Secretary Sibyl Edwards.
  • UFCW – David Welker – UFCW manager for fostering hostile work environment against employee. Request is for arbitration approval.  Ed Fortney motions to approve arbitration and motion is seconded.  Motion Passes to approve arbitration.
  • UFCW – Abe Silk – Performing higher classification work and not getting paid for upgraded work. Requests authority to arbitrate.  Ed Fortney motions to approve authority to arbitrate and motion was seconded.  Motion Passes.

Rick Ehrman

  • Rick provided case updates. No action items.

Paul Reilly

  • FPSU (Florida SEIU Local) – Request approval of bargaining team Mike Horne, Jason Eames, Anna McLain, Megan Shade, Marisa Baylon-Guillen and Paul Reilly. Jason Moyer motions to approve and motion was seconded.  Motion Passes.
  • BBNA– request retroactive approval to arbitrate a jurisdiction case at BBNA. Sam Nelson motions to approve and motion was seconded.  Motion Passes.

Eric Geist

  • Provided case updates. No action items.

Bruce Jett

  • Cet Parks provided case updates. No action items.

IV.  Financials

April 19, 2019

  • Cet Parks provides update on April 2019 financials. Don Griesheimer motions to approve and motion was seconded. Motion Passes.  Discussion on possible inaccuracy on Shirley Cherry memo (Summary of Financial Highlights as of April 30, 2019, paragraph two (26%/71% per capita tax).  Motion Passes.

Bob Paul Invoices for May 2019

  • No action items

Bob Paul Retainer

  • Motion made by Kate Mettler and seconded to take from the table the Bob Paul retainer and fixed fee discussion from last EC Meeting (May 15). Motion Passes.
  • Justin Moyer motions to give Cet Parks discretionary authority to begin negotiations with our counsel Bob Paul about a retainer or fixed fee long-term arrangement, and the motion was seconded.  Motion Passes.
  • General discussion follows (Don Griesheimer written statement) and others speak to the issue. Bill O’Meara raises point of order on why it is necessary to have motion to address Bob Paul on the issue.  Additional discussions on speaking directly to Bob Paul.  The Chair exercised its authority to override the point of order.
  • After considerable and thoughtful debate on the issue, a roll call vote was taken. Motion Passes (10 yes votes and 7 no votes) to give Cet Parks discretionary authority to begin negotiations with local’s counsel Bob Paul about a retainer or fixed fee long-term arrangement.

V.  Old Business

Funding Our Fight for the Future

  • Bill O’Meara discusses background. Justin Moyer asks if it’s possible to meet at the upcoming CWA convention to discuss the complexities of the issue and Bill agrees to be available.

VI.  New Business

Charge Against Chapter Co-Chair and Delegate

  • Cet Parks and Steve Cook provide background briefing on the issue and TNG and CWA constitutional guidelines and procedures involved in investigating the charges. HPAE Unit members provide additional background and context on issue.
  • Don Griesheimer motions to appoint a three to seven person panel to act as a jury, as outlined in counsel Bob Paul’s letter and in accordance to CWA constitution, and the motion was seconded.
  • After further discussion Don motioned to call the question to end debate. Motion was seconded.  A roll call vote was taken (14 yes votes, 1 abstention).  Motion Passes.
  • Motion Passes to retain a three to seven person panel to act as a jury on the charges.
  • Executive Council members Don Griesheimer, Katie Mettler, Sam Nelson, Joel Gratz volunteer to serve on the panel. Fatima Hussein volunteered to serve as prosecutor.  Hau Chu motions to nominate persons listed above to jury panel and prosecutor, and the motion was seconded.  Motion Passes.
  • EC recognized HPAE members who participated in discussion.

The Save Journalism Project

  • Ken Gude reports on the Save Journalism project which is addressing employment threats journalists face from big tech companies, by raising awareness and building allies within the journalism community. The ask is to have WBNG sign on as a supporter of the initiative.

The Moment Was Now

  • Gene Bruskin reports on new musical “The Moment Was Now, which will premiere September 13-15, 2019 in Baltimore (Baltimore Emmanuel Episcopal Church). The ask is to support the musical through ticket purchases.  Agreed to revisit participation at next general membership meeting in July.

VA AFL-CIO 24th Biennial Convention

  • No action needed.

NC State AFL-CIO 62nd Annual Convention

  • Motion made by Sam Nelson to send Jeremy Sprinkle to NC State AFL-CIO conference September 19-20, 2019, and the Local will be responsible for paying his $100 registration fee. Motion was seconded.  Motion Passes.

Florida AFL-CIO Biennial Convention

  • Motion made by Jeremy Sprinkle to send one person on Florida AFL-CIO staff to attend the Florida AFL-CIO conference September 7-8, 2019, if accepted by a staff member. Motion was seconded.  The Local will be responsible for paying the $150 registration fee.  Motion Passes.

Presidents Report

  • Steve Cook reports on WBNG efforts to obtain financial support through SIF grant from The News Guild/CWA for organizing which resulted in the assignment of CWA organizer, Jim Santos to assist with organizing efforts at The Post and BBNA. TNG also committed to supporting the work of Eric Geist.

Bylaws Committee Report

  • Sam Nelson submitted a detailed report as a part of the June 19, 2019 EC meeting packet.

Steward’s Committee Report

  • Elise Bryant reports on Steward’s Committee plan to hold a steward training event at WBNG DC office (tentative) on Saturday, September 28, 2019 from 9 AM to 3 PM.

Communications Committee

  • Lillyanne Daigle reports on Communications Committee efforts on creating guidelines to streamline emails to the full Executive Council, and to send out biweekly or bimonthly updates to the unit to assist in managing emails to board from the Local, and to create a Slack channel for the Local.

Organizing Committee

  • Katie Mettler reports on committee members (Katie and Fatima) participation in attending AFL-CIO Organizing Institute training event in Pittsburgh. Reported that training was externally focused (organizing new shops) and recommends participation in training programs with a focus on internal organizing would better serve our needs.

VII.  Good & Welfare

  • No action items

VIII.  Personnel Caucus

  • No action items

IX.  Adjournment

  • Don Griesheimer motions to adjourn and motion was seconded. Motion Passes and meeting is adjourned at 10:20 PM.