June 21, 2017 – Executive Council Meeting

Meeting called to order by President Lindsay at 713 pm. Secretary Romanov was an excused absence, so Lindsay asked Vice President Lampkin to take minutes pending arrival of former Secretary Gruenberg, who arrived at 716.

Present: President Sheila Lindsay, Vice President Amy Lampkin, Treasurer Tim Fitzgerald, Council members Gabe Gonzalez, Sam Nelson, Chris Stergalas, Mark Gruenberg, Jazmin Gargoum, Steve Cook, Ed Fortney, Matt Losak, Seth Dietz, Renato Mendoza, Executive Director Cet Parks, Local Reps Rick Ehrmann, Paul Reilly, Freddie Kunkel (delayed).

Excused absence: Council members Mark Pattison, Secretary Mikhail Romanov.

Unexcused absence: Council members Keith Barnes, Yvette De La Cruz, David DeJesus, Laura Francis, Anthony Wilson, Lauren Byers, Ben Cooper, Scott Dance, Alan Troyan, Karma Zurkhang.


Gruenberg moves, Gonzalez seconds approval of May 2017 financial report. PASSED VOICE VOTE.

Parks calls council’s attention to arbitrator’s bill re complaint vs CTW, a mixed decision.


Parks explains per capita payments to NC AFL-CIO for number of members in new units there. Ehrmann notes that NC Fed President James Andrews is retiring, calls him “a legend” in the labor movement and said he “helped engineer” negotiations of a first contract for the NC fed staff with its board. Stergalas moves, Lampkin seconds buying 1/2-page ad in program honoring Andrews on his retirement for $250. PASSED VOICE VOTE.


CONTRIBUTIONS: Packet includes CWA solicitations for contributions to two union-wide funded programs. Contributions are voluntary by locals though letters imply required payments. Contribution to pediatric AIDs fund not required and set aside. WBNG in past has support union-to-union fund, which aids foreign counterpart unions, because of WBNG members in Solidarity Center unit. Gruenberg moves, Gargoum seconds contributing $150 to union-to-union fund. PASSED VOICE VOTE.

CREATION OF VOLUNTEER COMMITTEES: Discussion ensued on creation of four committees of volunteers — Contracts, Communications & Education, Organizing and Human Rights — as Romanov proposed at previous meeting. Losak proposes adding a fifth, named the Select Committee on Elections. Gonzalez moves, Nelson seconds deferring discussion to July meeting when Romanov will be present to discuss his proposal. PASSED VOICE VOTE.

Fitzgerald suggests deferring discussion of Select Elections Committee till WBNG hears from Labor Department on pending elections complaint. Losak responds that delay is unnecessary since select committee “was to improve ways to do the election cycle.” General agreement, and call for volunteers. Gargoum, Nelson, Cook, Fitzgerald, Losak, Gonzalez, Mendoza volunteer.


PARKS: Reports WBNG filed unfair labor practices charge vs UFCW management for harassment of remote members, bad-faith bargaining and unilateral changes in commuter payments. Also reports on bargaining at the Advancement Project, and arbitrations at UFCW. Reports, citing organizer Bruce Jett, that Baltimore City paper management agreed to card check recognition but immediately announced plans to shut the paper. Result is WBNG must undertake effects bargaining to handle the impact of the shutdown. Also cites Jett report on other organizing.

Parks reports that over protests by TNG, CWA is throwing the WBNG staff out of the CWA health insurance plan, effective end of the calendar year. Research being done on switching WBNG staff to AFLCIO plan.

EHRMANN: Reports on mobilization and bargaining at Washington Post. “Lively and successful recruitment campaign” is occurring. Kunkel, taking over Post report (as unit chair) says owner Bezos “is trying to create an organization like Politico, demanding “lots of content” from reporters “on a hamster wheel.” Also says that “longetivity is not an aim” of Post management. Discusses overly vague social media policy Post is imposing, where people could be unilaterally fired for anything they say on their own private accounts. Gonzalez moves, Lampkin and many others second motion to “grant discretionary authority to bargain” over Post social media policy. PASSED VOICE VOTE.

REILLY: Citing Reilly report, Lampkin moves, Gonzalez seconds approval of 3-year 3% yearly RAINN contract.


Stergalas moves, Losak and Fitzgerald second approval of The American Prospect bargaining team: Justin Miller, Amanda Teuscher, Sam Ross-Brown, Manuel Madrid and Reilly. PASSED VOICE VOTE.

Mendoza, taking over Casa de Maryland section, reports unit seeking 1-year contract extension as “Casa is rethinking its structure.” Reilly says CTW unit decided not to appeal NLRB regional director’s decision for CTW and against WBNG.

MEMBERSHIP REPORT: Gonzalez moves, Stergalas seconds approval of May 17-June 21 membership report. No changes. PASSED VOICE VOTE.

MINUTES: Gruenberg moves, several second approval of May 16 minutes. Several members point out that the discussion of the potential expulsion of member Matt Losak and his defense is extremely extensive and expressed a preference that it be edited. Council decides to defer approval of minutes until Secretary Romanov has a chance to edit the section down, with acting Secretary Gruenberg to call and explain what happened. (Call made several days later).

Gruenberg moves, Gargoum seconds approval of board poll buying 1/4-page ad for Pride@Work Celebrating Solidarity Event for $325. Stergalas notes P@W voluntarily upgraded it for us to a full page without changing the price. PASSED VOICE VOTE.


ADJOURNMENT: Stergalas moves, Losak seconds move to adjourn. PASSED VOICE VOTE.

Regular meeting adjourned circa 9 pm.

An executive session was held.