May 20, 2020 – Executive Council Meeting

Washington-Baltimore News Guild

Executive Council Meeting

May 20, 2020

Present:  Peter Brusoe, Elise Bryant, Hau Chu, Steve Cook, Benjamin Cooper, David DeJesus, Tim Fitzgerald, Ed Fortney, Jazmin Gargoum, Joel Gratz, Don Griesheimer, Mark Gruenberg, Fatima Hussein, Tom Jackman, Marissa Lang, Tamara McCalla, Katie Mettler, Justin Moyer, Bryan Nelson, Bill O’Meara, Mark Pattison, Scott Reynolds, Jeremy Sprinkle, Michelle Wang, Karma Zurkhang

Excused:  Sam Nelson

Staff & Guests: Rick Ehrmann, Eric Geist, Bruce Jett, Cet Parks, Paul Reilly, Don Slaiman

I.  Minutes

April 22, 2020

Jeremy Sprinkle motioned to approve, seconded by Jazmin Gargoum.  Motion Passes to adopt April 22, 2020 minutes.

II.  Membership Report

April 22 – May 20, 2020

Don Griesheimer motions to approve, seconded by Tom Jackman.  Motion Passes to adopt the April 22 membership report.

III.  Executive Director’s Report

Cet Parks

SEIU – Request approval of the bargaining committee – Edward Fortney, Marva Luke, Katie Brown, Greg Petrilli and Cet Parks.  Don Griesheimer motions to approve, seconded by Bill O’Meara.  Motion Passes to approve SEIU bargaining team.

WBNG DC Office Space/Lease – Cet Parks also discussed next door tenant interest in WBNG office space, which could generate additional cost savings (WBNG would relocate to another office space in building, utilize AFL-CIO office space, or operate remotely until end of pandemic).  No further action taken.

Rick Ehrmann

Washington Post – bargaining committee has reached a tentative agreement with Post management for an 8-1/2 month contract extension with salary increase, up to 20 weeks paid parental leave.  Contract faces ratification vote next week.  Mark Gruenberg motioned to approve the extension, seconded by Mark Pattison.  Motion Passes to approve contract extension.

American Postal Workers Union – agreement reached to extend current CBA for two years, with a 1 percent salary increase on November 1, 2020 and a wage increase based on what APWU postal workers will receive in 2021.  Scott Reynolds motioned to approve the contract ratification, seconded by Bill O’Meara.  Motion Passes to adopt contract ratification.

Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) – members ratified three year contract which included annual raise of $2500, a 100 percent employer paid health premium, increased severance pay, evaluation of supervisors, annual equity audit, comp time for sixth day worked and limitations on off-hour communications.  Request approval of three year contract.  Scott Reynolds motioned to approve, seconded by Bill O’Meara.  Motion Passes to approve contract.

American Nurses Association – Don Griesheimer provides update on temporary pay reduction at ANA, potential furloughs and vacation givebacks.

Metropolitan Council, AFL-CIO – Rick requests discretionary authority to file an ULP and/or arbitrate MWC’s failure to negotiate with the Guild and failure to pay David Stephen’s post-probationary pay increase.  Jeremy Sprinkle motions to grant discretionary approval to file ULP, seconded by Scott Reynolds.  Motion Passes.

Paul Reilly

Charlotte Daily Progress – request approval of its two year contract.  Scott Reynolds motions to approve, seconded by Benjamin Cooper.  Motion Passes to approve contract.

RAINN – requests approval of bargaining team consisting of Trisha Dorsey, Sidney West, Sarcia Adkins and Paul Reilly.  Don Griesheimer motions to approve, seconded by Tom Jackman.  Motion Passes to approve bargaining team.

Roanoke Times – request approval of bargaining team Mark Berman, Casey Fabris, Amy Friedenberger, Shawn Garrett, Luan Rife, Jeff Sturgeon and Paul Reilly.  Mark Gruenberg motions to approve, seconded by Scott Reynolds.  Motion Passes to approve bargaining team.

Foreign Policy – request approval to arbitrate jurisdictions grievance.  Mark Gruenberg motions to approve, seconded by Bill O’Meara.  Motion Passes to approve arbitration.

Eric Geist

Provided update – no action items

Bruce Jett

Indivisible – request approval of bargaining committee Juliana Garcia, CJ Incorminias, Eli Gerber, Judy Stadtman, AJ Hedrich and Bruce Jett.  Scott Reynolds motions to approve, seconded by Mark Gruenberg.  Motion Passes to approve bargaining team.

IV.  Financials

Financials for March

Cet Parks reviews March financials and requests approval of the financial report.  Mark Pattison motions to approve financials, seconded by Jazmin Gargoum.  Motion Passes.

Bob Paul’s Invoices – April 2020

No action required.

Bob Paul’s Invoices – Election Stipulation

No action required.

V.  Old Business

By-Laws Revision

In Sam Nelson’s absence, President Steve Cook reports that corrections and suggestion were made to bylaws based on review with TNG (Tim Shick).  There were a few minor corrections/suggestions presented by TNG.  Bylaws committee agreed to incorporate some of these suggestions.  No additional action was taken during this meeting.  The committee’s goal is to have bylaws sent out to members by July/August in order to implement by September. 

VI.  New Business

Request to Arbitrate

Bill O’Meara shares background on language to reform how we arbitrate grievances, based on input from Cet Parks, President Steve Cook and Freddy Kunkle, with the goal of expediting and streamlining the initial decision making process. 

Bill O’Meara motions to adopt the streamlined language as a policy going forward.  The motion was seconded by Peter Brusoe.

Scott Reynolds shares concerns about taking power and voice from the members and placing it in the hands of a smaller group of people and asks to make a substitute motion to table the issue to allow time to discuss with his unit for more analysis.

President Cook shares that the language represents a more economical use of our time, and notes that staff recommendations on arbitration are always carefully considered; and there are procedures in place to allow grievances to go to the full council.

Rick Ehrmann, Peter Brusoe, Katie Mettler, Joel Gratz, Mark Gruenberg, Jazmin Gargoum, Bryan Nelson, Mark Pattison and Elise Bryant all share concerns regarding the process to streamline grievance procedures.

Scott Reynolds motions to table the discussion until the next EC meeting and establish a subcommittee to review language and make recommendations, affirm discussion on draft proposal and procedures to streamline the process.  A vote is taken and Motion Passes to table the discussion.

Sub-committee members include Scott Reynolds, Joel Gratz, Cet Parks, Bill O’Meara, Fatima Hussein, Katie Mettler, Steve Cook, and Jeremy Sprinkle.

COVID-19 – Returning to the Workplace

President Cook and Cet Parks discuss the importance of employee health and safety when our units are able to return to work.  Returning to Work is a mandatory bargaining item, and that we have a right to request bargaining, file ULP’s and arbitrate if necessary.  Discussed establishing a Health & Safety Committee. 

Peter Brusoe motions to establish a Health & Safety/Best Practices committee, seconded by Mark Pattison.  Motion Passes.  President Cook requests anyone interested being on committee to reach out via email.

NOVA Labor Council Delegates

Don Slaiman discuss role of NOVA Labor Council and announce that there are five delegate slots available for Labor Council.  Joel Gratz motions to nominate Scott Reynolds, Christine Silvia-Degennaro and Don Slaiman to fill three of the five delegate slots. Fatima Hussein requested time to reach out to people in her unit who may be interested in the additional slots.  Motion Passes.

VII.  Good & Welfare

Mark Gruenberg asks that we take notice of the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper closing print operations and operations moving over to, a non-union newsroom.

Joel Gratz – wants to renew efforts to have access to the Action Builder mobile online organizing tool, and possibly discuss at next EC meeting.

VIII.  Personnel Caucus


IX.  Adjournment

Peter Brusoe motions to adjourn.  Motion Passes and meeting adjourns at 9:29 PM.