Washington-Baltimore News Guild
Executive Council Meeting Minutes
Date of Meeting: May 19, 2021
Present: Sarah Atkinson, Jason Albright, Peter Brusoe, Elise Bryant, Hau Chu, David DeJesus, Graham Fortier, Dan Gabor, Nina Goldman, Fatima Hussein, Tom Jackman, Marissa Lang, Katie Mettler, Justin Moyer, Sam Nelson, Mark Pattison, Pratheek Rebala, Lillian Reed, Grace Sheedy, Jeremy Sprinkle, Michelle Wang, Joseph Yerardi
Excused: Carl Charles, Emily Woodall
Staff & Guests: Cet Parks, Paul Reilly, Evan Yeats, David Welsh (Solidarity Center), Carmen Gannon (WBNG)
Meeting called to order at 7:06 PM
I. Consent Agenda
- EC Minutes – April 21, 2021
- Membership Report (April 21, 2021 – May 19, 2021)
- Attorney Fees
- Board Poll (UUR Measure), April 27, 2021
- Peter Brusoe motioned to approve consent agenda, seconded by Mark Pattison. Motion Passed.
II. Executive Director’s Report & Staff
- Advancement Project ULP – Peter Brusoe motioned to give Cet discretionary authority to file ULP to enforce tentative agreement, seconded by Dan Gabor. Motion Passed.
- SEIU 500 – Requested retroactive authority to file ULP regarding unilateral changes to health insurance without bargaining. Dan Gabor motioned to approve, seconded by Sam Nelson. Motion Passed.
- Solidarity Center/Bangladesh – David Welsh requested discretionary authority to arbitrate an employee termination. Dan Gabor motioned to approve, seconded by Jeremy Sprinkle. The Motion Passed.
- In These Times – Requested approval of contract. Peter Brusoe motioned to approve, seconded by Graham Fortier. Motion Passed.
- Raw Story – Requested retroactive approval of bargaining team (Brad Reed, Bob Brigham, Sarah Burris and Paul Reilly). Peter Brusoe motioned to approve, seconded by Nina Goldman. Motion Passed.
- Roanoke Times – Requested discretionary authority to arbitrate their recent layoffs. Peter Brusoe motioned to approve, seconded by Sam Nelson. Motion Passed.
- No action items.
- ACLU of NC – Requested discretionary authority to file ULP regarding back to work issue. Jeremy Sprinkle motioned to approve, seconded by Peter Brusoe. Motion Passed.
- Credit Union Membership – Requested approval for members to join AFL-CIO credit union. Peter Brusoe motioned to approve, seconded by Graham Fortier. Motion Passed.
III. Old Business
- Justin Moyer provided an update on strategic plan and requested authority to pay $4K for the services of a strategic planner. After additional discussion Justin agreed to follow-up with updates on additional potential candidates. Peter Brusoe motioned to approve a budget up to $5K for the fee for the strategic planner, seconded by Elise Bryant. Motion Passed.
Elections and Referendum Committee Election
- Fatima Hussein recommends following individuals to the ERC, Steve Cook, Laura Madison, Luke Canfora. Peter Brusoe motioned to accept this slate of candidates, seconded by Jeremy Sprinkle.
- After further discussion, Dan Gabor restated the motion to recommend Steve Cook, Laura Madison, Luke Canfora to the ERC, seconded by Mark Pattison. Motion Passed.
IV. New Business
AFL District Meeting
- Organizing Committee – Sprinkle said he would serve as a WBNG representative to one of the district council meetings. Attendance is free. Hussein said one of the officers would attend the Northeast District meeting June 10.
- AFL-CIO clay shooting tournament: There was more joking than enthusiasm for taking part in this.
- Jobs With Justice donation: Nelson moved, seconded $1,200 for DC. Jobs with Justice to include participation in the anal “I’ll be there” awards in October, which will include group signage and an advertising display, and annual membership dues is event. Brusoe offered a friendly amendment to split the motion in two. Sprinkle seconded. The dues Motion Passed.
- Pattison moved; Sheedy seconded $1,000 for a program ad for Jobs With Justice’s 20th anniversary. Nelson said the rate is typically $500 but JWJ is looking at this as a fundraiser for the anniversary. After discussion, the motion carried.
- Myanmar resolution: Hussein said WBNG officers want to pressure TNG president Jon Schleuss to offer a statement of his own on Myanmar to CWA which in turn can put pressure on the Biden administration. Brusoe moved, Gabor seconded calling on Schleuss to advocate strongly that the Biden Administration take action to support human rights in Myanmar post haste. Motion carried.
- WBNG Organizing Committee: Report submitted in the meeting packet. Sheedy said the committee followed up on organizing leads and discussed internal organizing and what member-organizers were up to. Two large nonprofits and three media outlets are being considered.
- [Redacted]: Pattison moved; Goldman seconded granting discretionary authority to organize [Redacted] Motion carried.
- WBNG Communications Committee: Report submitted in the meeting packet. Sheedy said the committee reviewed the list of goals that had been developed. A graphic artist has been contacted about resigning the local logo. The local issued a statement on Israeli military attacks on media and civilians. It is also working with the Administration Committee to revamp the website. Gabor has agreed to chair the committee when Sheedy goes on leave.
- SEIU Union of Union Representatives: Gabor thanked for working with the CWA Executive Board to win WBNG’s the right to have UUR affiliate with the local.
- Farmworkers Organizing Committee (FOC) – Jeremy Sprinkle discussed fundraising efforts for a student internship program and an appeal for gap funds (most of funds have already been raised). Peter Brusoe motioned to donate up to $500 to close the gap, seconded by Katie Mettler. Motion Passed.
- Front Page Committee – Peter Brusoe gave an update on category awards progress.
- Education Committee – Elise Bryant gave update on training and topic workshops in development.
- AFL Police Report – Katie Mettler spoke to issue on controversial AFL-CIO report on police unions. Dan Gabor motioned for EC support of sending a letter from AFL-CIO employees represented by WBNG to AFL-CIO President Trumpka raising concerns that the proposal does not reflect a productive path forward in the struggle against police brutality. Seconded by Katie Mettler. Motion Passed.
Good & Welfare
- No action items.
V. Personal Caucus
- Work from Home – Cet Parks gave update on staff bargaining on working from home. Tentative agreement reached on $750 retroactive pay, $75 going forward from March 1, 2021. Requesting council approval of working from home stipend. Peter Brusoe motioned to approve, seconded by Pratheek Rebala. Motion Passed.
- Dan Gabor motioned to adjourn, seconded by Peter Brusoe. Meeting was adjourned at 8:54 PM.