July 16, 2001

Location: NABET/CWA Local 31 Office
Time: Meeting called to order at 12:05 p.m.
Presiding: Doug Allmond, President
Present: Victor Vissari, Treasurer
Elizabeth Bancroft, PBS
Al Turner, ABC
Dennis Dodd, MCT
Richard Guastadisegni, WJLA
Sarah Pacheco, TVS
Mark Peach, Freelance
Ted Stewart, WRC

Guest Speaker: Pete Catucci, Vice President, CWA District Two, accompanied by Doug Thompson (CWA Rep for Verizon), welcomed us into the building as well as into the family of CWA. He complimented NABET on its positive outlook since the beginning of the merger and congratulated Local 31 for winning the "Organizing Award" from District Two at the Convention. CWA is growing stronger every day. It now represents employees from every walk of life: nurses, law enforcement,universities, printing, as well as telephone and broadcast communication.
He encouraged NABET members to always wear a Union pin, shirt, hat or some form of Union identification as opposed to the company's signature wear. Because we are part of the CWA family, there are many ways we can help each other. Pete would like to call on the expertise of NABET members to help get a new member orientation program started with videos or other media. He touched on the COPE program and how it helps put union people in positions of influence in the political arena to educate the elected officials on the needs of the workers. Doug Allmond posed the question of steward and negotiator training. Pete said that he would put Doug in touch with those in CWA who would help the Local with this problem.

The minutes of the June 11, 2001 meeting were read and approved.

2001-07-01MOTION MADE to accept the minutes of the June Executive Board Meeting.


Treasurer's Agenda

A. Financial Report: Treasurer Vissari read the following report:


The Income was pretty much the normal amount. There will most likely be a little more interest, but I did not have the statements in time to post the interest. Non checkoff dues show a negative amount which means we had to submit more dues collected the month of May than we collect in June.


Expenses that were out of the monthly ordinary amount are:

5012: NCC/RVP/Convention Expenses: We have four of our members attending the CWA convention in Minneapolis, and the $1,432.50 expense for the month relates to advances expenses of this convention.

5013: Office Supplies: $2,081.47 is much higher than normal, as we are re supplying stationary with the new office address on it. We also ordered many items to help us in the organization of the new office, and this month reflects many of these charges. (Like catalog hanger in hallway, binder carts and binders for Karen and Izzy's work areas, organizers in work room, etc....)

5021: Telephone Expense: $710.69 - the telephone expenses will now show this higher amount, about double as it was in the past, because we are leasing the new phone system, and we owned the system in the old office.

5033: PBS - We showing expenses here, as we are in the middle of negotiations with the PBS contract.

5036: Rent - $3,500 - this reflects the new rent amount and this will now be our monthly charges for rent under the current lease.

5039: WJLA - We showing expenses here, as there has been active negotiating with the WJLA contract and most of this reflects Union Leave for the negotiators.

5044: Publication/Training: - This is higher than normal $4,750.
This reflects many members taking advantage of the AVID training. Recently we have had several members sign up and take Advance AVID classes.

5046: Metro Wash Council AFL CIO: This is much higher than the normal - $3,240 as they have had problems with their billings, and instead of receiving the normal monthly charge, we got billed for eight months. We pay this as we are billed. They were way behind in their statements.

5052: Purchased Furniture/Machines: $973.45 - This is still reflecting statements that were sent late from items ordered during the move.

5061: - Employee Health Insurance: $7,815.49 - This is $5,000 higher than normal, as Izzy had laser eye surgery/per OPEIU Contract the Local has a $5,000 lifetime payment towards this surgery. Karen had this done a few years ago, so two of the three have taken advantage of this benefit.

5076: - Moving Expenses - $1,340.02 - some old bills still dribbling in.

5077: Parking Expenses - $266 - this is a new category as in the new office we are responsible to pay for parking separate from our normal rent. We have had a few members receive parking violations while attending meetings in the office, and this amount reflects the Local picking up these parking tickets.

5078: Cable Expenses - $185.95 - this is a new category, although the normal monthly charge will not be this high. This amount shows the installation, and future charges will only relate to monthly charges.

We show a negative cash flow of - $17,363.79 for June.

Please Note: It is hard to determine if this is going to be a trend every month or not. We have a couple large bills that will most likely be paid in July. We just received a NBC Union Leave statement for around $12,000 which will be paid in July and we have not received the statement yet for the new editing equipment that was recently purchased for the Local. We will also have quite a bit of Convention Expense for the month of July which will push the July expenses up. I also expect to receive a ABC Union Leave statement in the near future, which will be equally as high if not higher than the NBC statement.

With the move the Local has taken on many new expenses.
These include almost double the rent than what we were used to, although if we would have stayed in the old offices, that amount would have still went up. Our telephone expense has doubled because of the new system. We now have parking and cable expense which we never had in the past.
Also please note: I talked with Kevin Lorenz from Merrill Lynch, and they have held back from investing most of the money that was allotted for the stock market and have instead temporarily invested in higher paying CD‚s and Bonds. They have saved the Local from losses because of their conservative approach, and are now looking for some fairly safe stock market investments on the Locals behalf.

We exchange a Bank One bond @ 6% for a Motorola bond @ 8%.

2001-07-02MOTION MADE to accept Treasurer‚s Report:


New Members: Applications for new membership were reviewed. The application from Robert Brackens indicated that he had only worked one month 9-10/2000. Also, there was no salary listed for Junius Campbell.

2001-07-03MOTION MADE to accept the following applicants as new members: Robert D. Brackens, Robert Cohencious, Henry Robert Jerkins, Michael Thomas Kelly, Freelancers at ABC; Junius Cornel Campbell, Cesar E. Flores, Juan Antonio Gonzalez II, Freelancers at NBC and Stephen Edward Pozniak, staff at WJLA.


Secretary's Agenda:

Nothing on agenda.

Old Business:

Potomac Cruise: Vice President Lorek researched this item from last month's agenda and President Allmond reported that the prices were a little high. Generally in the $75 per person range for a midnight cruise. The Board felt that this should be put on the back burner until we see how our finances are next Spring.

Picnic Gifts to Members: We received a quote from Classic Specialties of $9.08 each for insulated 12-pack size cooler bags to be given to the members at the Annual Picnic in September. The Board agreed to purchase these as they could be used on the street and since they would have the NABET-CWA logo on them it would be a union solidarity tool.

2001-07-04MOTION MADE to purchase 250 of the NABET-CWA insulated coolers to be given to the members attending the Annual Picnic in September.


New Business:

Date of next Executive Board meeting will be held at Noon on August 13th in the CWA District 2 Conference Room. Passed without objection. The regularly scheduled General Membership Meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, August 6th in the Knights of Columbus Hall - 5034 Wisconsin Avenue, Ste 200, Washington, DC.

CWA Convention: Reports from Ted Stewart and Doug Allmond are attached.

Chordas NLRB Hearing: Charges were filed with the NLRB against Local 31 by member Philip Chordas. Mr. Chordas claimed that Local 31 collected dues from his NBC paycheck without authorization; that we transferred his membership from Local 16 without his consent; and, that we unlawfully notified NBC that he was ineligible to work under the NABET contract. At the hearing NABET #31, represented by Matt Harris (Sector Attorney), presented testimony that 1. NBC deducted the dues without checkoff authorization, sent the dues to CWA who then sent Local 31 our portion of those dues. Since Mr. Chordas was transferred by the Sector to our Local because he was working at NBC and living in Virginia and since Mr. Chordas refused to send us any information other than dues were being deducted from his check, we could only assume that he had given NBC authorization to deduct those dues. NBC reimbursed Mr. Chordas all the dues they deducted from his paycheck. 2. The Sector, not Local 31, transferred Mr. Chordas. 3. Because Mr. Chordas refused to pay the back dues owed, (NBC only deducted 1a% instead of the 1b% of his gross pay) we notified NBC that he could no longer work under the contract. The NLRB trial attorney strongly suggested that the two parties come to an agreement to settle this case. The agreement reached was: 1. Mr. Chordas would pay 2/3 of the dues returned to him by NBC to Local 11. 2. Mr. Chordas would be transferred to Local 11 as an "agency fee objector."
3. NABET Local 31 would notify NBC that Mr. Chordas was eligible to work under the contract. 4. NABET Local 31 does not admit any wrongful conduct in this matter.

CWA Requests for Donations: Please post in all locations.

2001-07-05MOTION MADE to send $500 to CWA Local 14177 to aid in their fight against the union-busting tactics of the New Era Cap Company - maker of Big League baseball caps.

MAKER: Turner SECOND: Stewart

2001-07-06MOTION MADE to send $500 to the Campaign for Worker's Rights in South Carolina. Longshoremen were arrested for protesting a shipping company‚s use of non-union workers to unload ships in Charleston harbor.

MAKER: Stewart SECOND: Bancroft

Audio Seminar: This will be held on Sunday, July 22nd in the Knights of Columbus Hall, 5034 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 201, Washington, DC from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. There will be vendors there to exhibit equipment. All are welcome to attend.

House Radio & TV Gallery: Representative not present. Their contract is nearly complete and ready for a vote.

Montgomery Community TV Affairs: A 3.5% pay raise started on July 1st. The company is offering "personal service contracts" - 2 news photographers and a bench technician. Day hires are non-union technical assistants - a union-busting tactic. A grievance may be filed. All NABET positions are to be filled by NABETs, but when a rift occurs former members are filling the jobs. The next contract must address this problem.

NBC Affairs: The contract negotiators from the different locals are caucusing in New York this week. They will meet with the company committee later in August to exchange proposals. There was a meeting in New York on the Hub issue the end of June. Some 6-8 jobs in Washington may be in jeopardy. The company authorized three buyouts, they received four requests. The company has set up recording machines in Day of Air/Transmission for emergency overnight news feeds. This is a change in operating procedures - grievance to be filed.

PBS Affairs: Paula Olson, the chief negotiator for NABET, has met with the committee at the Union office. They have started the negotiating process. Talks with the company will begin at the end of the month.

TVS Affairs: Representative Sarah Pacheco spoke of a survey she circulated among the membership. A grievance meeting was held on July 12th at which the "one-man band" safety issue was discussed. Larry D'Anna stated that it was up to the discretion of the crew as to the safety of a situation. He also approved the use of the CNN safety equipment. The Weingarten Rights grievance was discussed and denied by the company. An NLRB charge will be filed by the Sector attorney.

WHUT Affairs: Representative not present. Members received their back pay raise as well as the current one. An agreement was reached whereby the employees who received their raises late would also receive a $250 check as retribution.

WJLA Affairs. The meetings held with WJLA management on June 12 and 13 did not produce a contract. We are awaiting a package from the company. Letters to those members who are not in good standing will be sent out within the next few weeks.
These letters will notify the members of Article X charges being brought against them for non-payment of dues. Matt Harris of the Sector Office will help set up a standing trial body to hear the cases.

WMAL/WRQX Affairs. Representative not present. No report.

WRC Affairs: Still awaiting copies of the „no-work‰ list that the office staff was to provide to the Executive Board representatives, Mr. Stewart and Mr. Queen. Mr. Whatley has removed all but one copy machine from each floor. This has created problems when the one machine breaks down.

Freelance Affairs: There is a NBC Sideletter 32/70 meeting in New York July 18 & 19. We have three topics to discuss:
1) unfair termination of a daily hire for abusive language used in an altercation with another employee (non-NABET). The other employee was not terminated. Progressive discipline was not used.
2) Split shift call backs - two 4-hour callbacks in 1 day.
3) Freelancer put on the schedule and was not notified or confirmed.

Representative Peach discussed field safety issues with NBC management and was told by Mr. Whatley that "the onus is on the crew to determine the safety of a situation." Mark (Peach) also met with core EJ editing people in an effort to educate the freelancers of their rights in the work place.

A road trip to the South has been planned for July 28th through August 4th. Mark Peach and Doug Allmond will visit members from Raleigh, NC to West Palm Beach, FL and various cities in between. Postcards with a tentative itinerary were sent to all members south of Virginia so that anyone wishing to do so could meet with Mark and Doug.

The Orientation of New Members Committee has not gotten off the ground as yet, but hopes to do so in the very near future.

Mark met with eight "permalancers" at NBC News Channel at the North Capitol Street location.

Sean Dugan of the Flex Plan met with Doug Allmond and Mark Peach to discuss concerns of the freelance members with the plan. Sean told them that they are trying to negotiate a plan that would be open to all freelancers no matter where they worked. At the present it is available only to NBC and ABC daily hire employees. He also stated that health care is increasing at an annual rate of 20%. Mark told Sean that 75% of the freelancers are unhappy with the Plan. He also brought up the fact that the disability insurance payments are based on the W-2 income only (freelancers who are employed 5 days a week at the same company). It does not take into account anyone who has 1099 wages.

Items that freelancers would like to see in the next contracts: raise the $50 medical benefit; have a true employer contribution; more frequent grievance meetings; give freelancers holiday pay (1.5 x 8 hours) and more holiday overtime; meal breaks; no split shifts; address the issue of microwave truck safety.

ABC Affairs: It‚s time to get started working on the next contract. The company has notified the union that it is canceling the ELAP program immediately. There will be a conference call between the Network Local Presidents on Monday, July 23rd to discuss this situation. It may result in a national grievance being filed. Two long time staff employees in Georgia and Florida were improperly terminated on Friday, July 13th. President Allmond has spoken to Labor Relations and has been assured that it was a mistake. It was reported that ABC Scheduling in New York is staffing ESPN car racing. This will be investigated.

2001-07-07MOTION made to adjourn.


Meeting adjourned at at 2:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Susan M. Fitzgerald
Administrative Secretary
Acting on behalf of Maurice Thomas, III
Local 31 Secretary


The following is the report from Delegate Ted Stewart:

Communication Workers of America
63rd Annual Convention
July 9 ˆ 10, 2001
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Ted Stewart
July 16, 2001


Morton Bahr, president of CWA, greeted everyone to the convention. The first to be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A union town with the likes of Hubert Humphrey, a political leader and union supporter. He welcomed the IUE members new to the CWA family. Mr. Bahr pointed out that the CWA is the Union of choice to merge with, due to its great member participation and support.

Mr. Bahr mentioned the needs of the freelance worker and his instructions to the executive board to investigate their needs. He ended his comments with the statement "We are Union, Family, Proud & CWA"

The credentials committee reported that over 2300 delegates and alternates were seated at the convention.

Senator Paul Welstone, D from Minnesota, presented a very strong pro labor, pro union speech. He stated that "I am a labor Senator ". He stated that he now chairs sub committees, which directly affects the family and labor movement. He will not allow laws to be passed not continue the forward direction of the union. The labor movement focus on Health care, good education and good jobs is good for America.

A family with Aides made a heart felt plea for the continued participation of the CWA in the Pediatric Aides foundation and the hope for a cure of Aides. The CWA stated that the support for the foundation from the CWA would continue.

Larry Cohen, executive VP, CWA, mentioned that the CWA family continues to grow everyday. Larry explained the many ways in which the CWA membership can help to keep the CWA growing stronger everyday.

The debate on the floor covered many topics. The report of the Defense Oversight committee regarding monies used to protect members fired organizing for the union. It was resolved to have the executive board review the report and voted on at the 2002 convention.

An amendment to the constitution was offered to the membership that would put the question of a merger before the annual convention. This would slow the merger process considerably. The motion was rejected.

President Bahr presented many organizing awards to locals that organized a total of 7000 new members to the CWA. A special award was presented to the Arizona CWA council of locals for their organizing efforts.

Several resolutions were passed, to include one that put the "New ERA Cap Company" on the national boycott list, after learning of their union busting measures. The company has also been deceiving the public by manufacturing in Bangladesh and then sewing in a made in America label.

John Sweeney, President of the AFL-ICO, spoke to us stressing the need to increase our members in order to accomplish our goals and take back Washington and send Bush back to his Mom and Dad.

The convention was both exciting and extremely informative. I believe that being and part of CWA has strengthened and has put the resources of CWA at our
finger tips. The delegates of Local 31 (52031) joining forces with the delegates of New York, California and Ohio, ABC, NBC, presented strong representation of NABET / CWA in Minnesota. I look forward to the 64th Annual Convention.

The following is the report of Delegate Doug Allmond:

Report: CWA Convention Minneapolis MN. July 9-10 2001

Doug Allmond
Barbara Krieger
Ted Stewart
Al Turner

Moe Thomas

The main thrust of the meeting was organizing and political action. The speakers stressed the importance of participation in the political process.
Whenever an area is heavily unionized the vote will reflect the union's wishes. That is why it is important to organize wherever possible.
In September the CWA is starting a national effort to get maximum participation in COPE (Committee On Political Education).

There were 2,355 delegates, alternates and guests in attendance at the convention. 1,528 were delegates.

The CWA represents the workers at the New Era hat factory in New York. The company has implemented a contract and started moving the jobs to Alabama and overseas. The CWA has requested that the local unions support the members efforts to prevent the company busting the union. The AFL-CIO has also placed New Era on the national boycott list.

In Charleston, South Carolina a group of dock workers protested a move by one of the shipping companies that started using non-union workers to unload ships in the harbor. A protest ensued and seven union protesters were arrested and charged with trespassing. The South Carolina Attorney General pressed federal felony charges against the protesters and now they face severe penalties if convicted. The CWA is asking for help in this matter. There are demonstrations and fund raising efforts underway.

Contributions can be sent to:
Campaign for Worker*s Rights in South Carolina
P0 Box 21777
Charleston South Carolina 29413

A full report on the Convention is forthcoming from the CWA.

Convention Wrap up.

During President Bahr's closing remarks he outlined the high points of the convention:

The IUE/CWA merger adds several hundred thousand members to the union bringing the total membership of the CWA to over 700,000.

The delegates brought forward a resolution that would allow for payment to non-members who were fired because of union organizing activity. Although the fund that the payments came from was questioned the basic premise of the resolution, according to President Bahr, will go into effect.

Another resolution confirmed that the Executive Board has the authority to approve mergers with other unions. A resolution requiring all large mergers to be approved at the convention was defeated.

The convention also gave authority to the executive board to settle cross local and jurisdictional strikes. This resolution was as a result of the Verizon strike where several locals had returned to work while other locals were still out on strike.

Political Issues:

In September the CWA will undertake an effort to sign up members to contribute to the CWA COPE fund.

The CWA sees the fastrack‰ legislation in congress as a major threat to workers rights, and the environment. Local unions are to ask all members to call congress and express their opposition to the legislation. The number to call is 800 393 1082.

Another hot topic issue is the patients bill of rights and the Virginia Governor's race.

President Bahr also mentioned a disturbing alliance between the current administration and the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army will support the
"faith based" initiatives of the administration if the White House will not oppose their stance against gays joining their organization. The anti-gay policy came as a great shock and disappointment to the CWA.

Respectfully Submitted,

Doug Allmond
President NABET/CWA Local 31

Sue Fitzgerald
NABET-CWA Local 31