Executive Board Meeting

Monday, March 12, 2007

Location:       NABET-CWA Local 31 Office

Time:              Meeting called to order at 6:50 pm

Presiding:       Carl Mayers, President

Present:           Jim Lee, Vice President

Dave Parr, Treasurer

Maurice Thomas III, Secretary

Richard Guastadisegni, WJLA

Stephen Johnson, HRS

Rich McDermott, WRC/NBC

Michael Queen, NBC

Stu Rushfield, NPR

Barbara Krieger, visitor


2007-03-01     MOTION MADE to accept the minutes of the February 2007 Executive Board meeting.



President’s Report


1.   Picnic: It is too late to consider dates and expenses for this year or next. The next available time-period is in 2009. The estimates expense exceeds $20,000. The event will be considered once we have a better idea of our finances later this year.


2.   American Income Life Insurance mailing: The free life insurance benefit has been raised to $3,000. This free benefit has helped two of our members’ survivors in the recent past. The American Income Life Insurance Company wishes to send another informative mailer to the membership. It was agreed to do this, but the mailer package came to the office already assembled and ready for labeling. This was in violation of the OPEIU contract. As a result, there was a written settlement reached with AIL and OPEIU, where AIL would pay half and Local 31 would pay half of the labor expense. This arrangement is similar to the arrangement made by the previous administration. Therefore, in order to make it clear that the President is authorized to proceed with this agreement and mailer-benefit the Executive Board resolved as follows:


Whereas: American Income Life Insurance is offering a no cost life insurance to the members of Local 31 in the amount of $3000; and


Whereas: American Income Life Insurance has made a request to the Local to assist in notifying the membership of this benefit by a special mailing; and


Whereas: American Income Life Insurance has offered to pay for one half of the cost for such mailing ($232.21 = ½ labor costs + $10.65 cost of labels); and


Whereas: such mailing comes under the jurisdiction of OPEIU; and


Whereas: OPEIU has agreed with the Local to the terms and conditions by which this special mailing will be performed,


Therefore be it resolved that the President is authorized to make a mailing to the membership on behalf of American Income Life Insurance. This notice is to make the members aware of this free insurance policy.


3.   President’s Vacation: I will be on vacation from March 15 through March 26, 2007.  During my absence, Vice President Jim Lee will be acting on my behalf and available should you need him.  If you have an emergency, the Local 31 office staff will know how to reach me.  I will return to the office on March 27th.


4.   AFLAC: We are also seeking the same mailing and program from/by AFLAC, which could provide income replacement insurance for our members for a variety of disabilities.


5.   CNN/TVS case: has moved forward with a significant decision from the Office of Advice. Brain Power the Local’s Attorney and Local 31 worked out an arrangement that Mr. Power would continue to do some of the CNN work with Mark Wilson on the CNN case. Brain did a lot of the early filing and fact finding on this case and has devoted himself to this local in this matter. This does not cost the local any more money as this work will be covered as part of our retainer.


6.   Unit meetings: There will be several unit meetings in the next few months.

Treasurer’s Report


1.   Financial Report: Below are the accounts that were considerably higher or lower than the normal budgeted amount for February.


4000-01 and 4000-02: Non Checkoff Dues and Initiation Fees: The non checkoff dues for the month were $4,503.63 and initiation fees were $2,710.67, that is $2,514.30 over the combined monthly budgeted amount of $4,700.00

4001: Total rebate: The $82,539.96 is $24,039.96 is over the $58,500.00 monthly budgeted amount. The CWA has caught up on all back dues except for December 2006 WHUT dues.

The Local’s February 2007 income of $89,754.26 was $23,054.26 over the monthly budgeted amount of $66,700.00.


5002-02: ABC Negotiations: $2,277.77 for the month was $222.23 under the monthly budgeted amount of $2,500.00. The ABC Negotiating Committee is scheduled to meet for the entire month of March.

5014: OPEIU Wages: The total OPEIU wages for the month of February were $13,459.53, that is $750.47 under the monthly budgeted amount. The Assistant to the Treasurer had $342.72 in OT due to the fact we are working on the billing of members not paying their dues through check off.

5016: Assistant to the President: The $2,000.00 monthly expense is $125.00 over the monthly budgeted amount of $1,875.00 due to the fact that the Daily Hire Assistant did not get his monthly stipend in January.

5019: Insurance: This account is $1,345.30 under the monthly budgeted amount of $5,430.00. This is due to the fact that Carl is retired and his insurance payment is due quarterly.

5027: Financial Expense: This account is $340.00 above the monthly budgeted amount of $1,000.00. The Local still had a couple of bills for the Audit. This is now paid in full for the year.

5028: Members Benefits/Training: $1,685.12 was $535.12 over the monthly budgeted amount of $1,150.00. The Local donated $1,000.00 to the Megan Davis Scholarship Fund in February.

The Local was $12,654.30 under the monthly budgeted amount of $67,708.13 for total expenses. The net income for the month after expenses was $34,700.43.

2007-03-02     MOTION MADE to accept the Treasurer’s Report


            MAKER: Parr                  SECOND: McDermott           MOTION APPROVED

2.   Training: Training is an open-ended commitment. In order to limit and control this entitlement for members, the following resolution is offered:

2007-03-03     RESOLUTION MADE:

Whereas: Presently the Local has no control of the number of members who might avail themselves of the Local’s training funding and,

Whereas, the Local has no control who administers the training, or for what purpose,

Therefore, be it resolved that the following rules be established for member training provided by an outside vendor:


1.   The member must be in good standing.

2.   Any member seeking training must first request approval by email, fax, or mail from the Local office.

3.   The member is entitled to only one training session in a calendar year.

4.   The Local will limit the training to no more than four members in any given month. If any member is denied training in any given month, they shall be placed on the top of the list in the subsequent month, or whichever month the training is again available.

5.   The type of training shall be limited to improving the member’s skills in the broadcast industry. For example: photo journalism, editing, lighting, electronic maintenance, transmission, audio and graphics.

6.   The Local will pay 50% of the total cost or $400, whichever is less.

7.   The Local will produce a list of approved vendors from which the members may select. If the member wishes to utilize a vendor that is not on the list, the member must submit literature from the vendor and a reason for using that vendor. The Local’s President then has the sole discretion of approving the training and subsequently, if he or she wishes, adding that vendor to the list.



3.   New Members: Applications for new members were reviewed.


2007-03-04     MOTION MADE to accept the following applicants: Adrian Sustaita, daily hire at ABC; Jazmyne Elizabeth Brooking, Michael Valentyne, daily hires at MCT; Michael Douglas Broleman, Randall William Brown, Laurence Cecile Davis, Andrew D. Scritchfield, daily hires at NBC; Sean Cyrus Phillips, Kurt Ray Stalnaker, BRT staff at NPR.



Secretary’s Report



1.   Sovereign Bank: Union Members Affordable Mortgage Program: to be posted on the web site.


2.   Schmitzer Donation to Sick Member’s Fund/Scholarship: Retired Member Bill Schmitzer has return our retirement gift of $500 to the Union. He has requested that these funds be applied to the Sick Member’s Fund and the Scholarship Fund. Since there is no formal Scholarship Fund, the funds should be applied to the Sick Member’s Fund. Therefore, it was resolved:


2007-03-05     MOTION MADE: To apply the $500 gift of retired member Bill Schmitzer to the Sick Member’s Fund.




3.   Request for Funds from Sick Member’s Fund: NPR Representative Stu Rushfield presented a request from a member for the Sick Member’s Fund.


2007-03-06     MOTION MADE: To appropriate $500 from the Sick Member’s Fund to an NPR member.




4.   Request for Donation for Juvenile Diabetes Walk:


2007-03-07     MOTION MADE: To appropriate $100 FOR THE Juvenile Diabetes Walk.




5.   Request for Donation for American Indian Education Guide: No Action.


6.   Ad Request - DC Labor Film Fest 2007: No Action.


7.   Donation Request - Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad: No Action.


8.   Request from the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers “Day of Action”: Will post on the web site for their event on May 17th, 2007.


9.   Letter from Barbara Krieger – Daily Hire member as Executive Board Representative at MCT: In accordance with Local By-Law 3.31 and 4.40, the Executive Board considered the matter of composition at its regular January 2007 meeting. The Board then affirmed an informal, continuing understanding, that the Executive Board unit representatives should be elected from among staff members only, and that the daily hire representative (Section 4.44) shall be elected from among freelance members only. This understanding was affirmed and ratified with the adoption of the January 2007 minutes at the February 2007 Executive Board regular meeting.


The Montgomery Cable Television unit (MCT) is very small unit consisting of not more than ten staff members and as many as twenty-two daily hire members. There has been a history of generally weak involvement by MCT unit members in union affairs. Ms. Krieger’s letter stated that there should be a representative from MCT, even though she is an MCT daily hire member. Post card reminders of the election nomination petition were sent to the membership close to the deadline for filing. Ms. Krieger’s nomination petition was the only one received at all from MCT. (This text was not formally presented to the Executive Board as written and was inserted for the minutes at a later date.)


The Executive Board went into Executive Session to discuss the matter more fully.

2007-03-08     MOTION MADE to go into Executive Session.




2007-03-9 MOTION MADE to come out of Executive Session.




After extensive discussion, the following Local By-Laws would seem to apply and were carefully considered: Sections 3.31, 4.20, 4.40, 4.41, 4.42, 4.44, and 4.71. The NABET Sector By-Laws were equally carefully considered: Sections 8.13 and 8.14. The CWA By-Laws and Constitution was also consulted: Article XIII – Section 9, and Article XV – Section 4.


As a result of those discussions and considerations, the following resolution was made:


WHEREAS that pursuant to Local By-Law 3.31, the Executive Board has the power to determine its own composition from time to time, and may change that composition as it may see fit, and


      WHEREAS there was no explicit notice to potential candidates for Executive Board Representative that daily hire members were to be excluded from contract unit representation other than that of Daily Hire Representative as defined in Local By-Law 4.44, and


WHEREAS in consideration of Ms. Krieger’s otherwise timely filed petition, and


WHEREAS Ms. Krieger’s petition was the only petition from the MCT contract group, and


WHEREAS the MCT contract group is entitled to Executive Board representation of its own election, (This text was not formally presented to the Executive Board as written and was inserted for the minutes at a later date.)


2007-03-10     THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED to accept Ms. Krieger’s nomination petition from the MCT contract group as valid and to thereafter accept her as the elected representative since there was but one nomination timely received from that unit.

MAKER: Queen               SECOND: McDermott           MOTION APPROVED

2007-03-11     MOTION MADE permanently table the Motion to Reconsider.



Staff Report


1.   Union Leave Report: March 2007 - 24 days + ½ hour

            ABC:  23 days

3/1-31 - Negotiations - Moe Thomas (22 week days)

3/12 - Executive Board - Dave Parr

            NBC:  1 day

3/12- Executive Board - Michael Queen

            NPR:   ½ hour

3/12- Executive Board - Rushfield


2.   No Work List (3.2): As listed for the benefit of officers and stewards.


3.   New member packets: Membership packages sent to the following:


      ABC:  Michael Duke             NBC:  Randall Brown

Robert Gunter

      MCT:  Loren Olson                            Mannie Roberts

                  Michael Valentyne                 Andrew Scritchfield


      NPR:   Donald Spaulding        PBS:  Richard Calloway



1.   Purchase Golf Shirts (mobilization): There was discussion on the color, the campaign, and the pending ABC contract negotiations. These shirts are needed next month.


2007-03-12     MOTION MADE to appropriate not more than $4500 for the purchase of members’ union golf shirts and armbands for mobilization.




2.   CWA Member initiation fee: Former CWA Local 4309 member Kurt Stalnaker has applied for membership in NABET-CWA. Therefore, in consideration of his past CWA membership, his membership fee for NABET has been waived.



1.   Date of next Executive Board Meeting: The next meeting will be held on Monday, April 9, 2007, beginning at 6:30 pm.


2.   CWA National Women’s Conference: This conference is coming up on March 23-25th.


2007-03-13     MOTION MADE to authorize the Local President to appoint and send a representative to the CWA National Women’s Conference in Washington, DC.




3.   CWA National Convention: This event is to be held in Toronto, Canada, July 16-17, 2007. President Mayers indicated he will be unable to attend. The President indicated that there would a worthwhile seminar on financial affairs and that Treasurer Parr would be the best to attend. Mr. Parr indicated that his ability to attend might be complicated by other responsibilities to his family at that time. Secretary Thomas indicated his willingness to attend the convention if Mr. Parr could not.


2007-03-14     MOTION MADE to allow the President to appoint whomever he thinks best to attend the National CWA Convention in his stead.




4.   American Income Life Insurance mailing: See #2 in President’s report above.


2007-03-15     MOTION MADE to authorize the President to make a mailing to the membership on behalf of American Income Life Insurance. This notice is to make the members aware of this free insurance policy.




5.   GE Shareholder Proposals: The CWA Retired Members Council has recommended a shareholder proposal to get GE to raise the pensions of their retirees.


2007-03-16     MOTION MADE to support the CWA Retired Members Council request for help in voting owned GE stock shares for the benefit of all our members.




6.   Freelance Affairs: No report.


7.   HRS Affairs: No report.


8.   MCT Affairs: No report.


9.   SRS Affairs: Negotiations are still on hold.


10. NBC Affairs: Management for News4 has announced plans to eliminate TD's and Audio positions in control rooms for live broadcasts in 18 months. They contend software is available to allow one producer to fulfill these functions. Network jobs are probably at risk as well. There are HUGE payroll problems for all employees. Virtually no one can figure the very strange math that the company uses to calculate pay. Probably an outside audit is needed to ascertain if pay is accurate and if pension payments are correct. Stage managers are not getting adequate relief breaks during their shifts. More request for a NABET picnic. Daily hire editor Paul Larson has requested inactive membership.


11.       PBS Affairs: No report.


12.       TVS/CNN Affairs: No report. We are expecting Labor Board action shortly.


13.       WHUT-TV Affairs: No report.


14.       WJLA Affairs: No report.


15.       WMAL Affairs: No report.


16.       NPR Affairs: No report.


17.       WRC Affairs: The following items are the largest problems to come to our attention during the past month:

1)  WRC has announced that it will install a control room automation system which will run robotic cameras, audio, lighting, technical direction and show direction from a “master control” operator’s position, which may, or may not, be a NABET job. All of the NBC O&O’s (including Telemundo stations) are to be eventually run by this system. Substantial layoffs will result.

2)  Two of our members were involved in a personal dispute with each others’ behavior at a recent news event. NBC is considering disciplinary action in the case.

3)  One of our shop stewards was recently approached by a manager who was led to believe that our steward was intimidating a member of his shop. The approach used by the manager seems to be the only intimidation used by any party in this case.

4)  John Millstein, a new news-show producer at WRC has been taking notes on his perception of the control room crews’ “mistakes” during newscasts. His mode of operation does not seem to include checking with the “offending” crew member as to the circumstances of any perceived “problem”. Instead, it is believed that these secret reports go directly to managers.


18.       ABC Affairs: We have begun negotiations in March 2007 at Tyson’s Corner. So far, the negotiations have been polite and business-like. The Company and Union proposals have been posted on the web site, as well as current bulletins. E-mails are being sent to members directly. Members are encouraged to attend and witness the talks while they are here in the local area.


2007-03-17     MOTION MADE to adjourn at 10:54 pm


            MAKER: Lee             SECOND: Thomas                MOTION APPROVED

Respectfully submitted,


Maurice Thomas, III