Executive Board Meeting


Monday, May 14, 2007


Location:       NABET-CWA Local 31 Office

Time:              Meeting called to order at 7:05 pm

Presiding:       Carl Mayers, President

Present:           Jim Lee, Vice President

Dave Parr, Treasurer

Maurice Thomas III, Secretary

[as recorded]


Approval of Minutes of Executive Board Meeting held April 9, 2007. Secretary Thomas thanked HRS Representative Steve Johnson for his excellent service as the acting Secretary at the April 9, 2007 meeting.


Amend minutes on Page 2 to delete “text of letter.”


2007-05-01     MOTION MADE to accept the minutes of the April 9, 2007 Executive Board meeting, as amended.


            MAKER: Lee                        SECOND: Thornton               MOTION APPROVED


Mr. Lee asked for a record of the Ayes and Nays. There were all Ayes but one, Mr. McDermott- Nay.


Treasurer’s Report


1.         Financial Report:


Below are the accounts that were considerably higher or lower than the normal budgeted amount for April.




4000-01 and 4000-02: Non Checkoff Dues and Initiation Fees: The non checkoff dues for the month were -$1,147.68, we had a lot of incoming dues in March that we submitted to the Sector in April and we have not received our rebate yet. The initiation fees were $4,144.07 for the month, that is $1,703.61 under the combined monthly budgeted amount of $4,700.00.


4005: Investment Income: The $1,372.94 is $2,127.06 under the $3,500.00 monthly budgeted amount.


The Local’s April 2007 income of $64,665.02 was $2,034.98 under the monthly budgeted amount of $66,700.00.




5002: ABC: $9,938.64 for the month was $7,438.64 over the monthly budgeted amount of $2,500.00. The ABC Negotiations ran the entire month of March. This amount included lodging for the month and some of the negotiators salary. ABC has sent a bill for $10,801.50 for the ABC negotiators March union leave. It has not yet been paid but will appear in May’s expenses.


5003: PBS: The $780.00 for the month was $280.00 over the monthly budgeted amount of $500.00. The Officers had a meeting with the PBS member to discuss their upcoming negotiations. The $780.00 covered the cost of the meeting room for the PBS members.


OPEIU over time for the month of April was our payout from the Insurance mailing agreement.


5016-02: ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT: The $250.00 monthly budget amount is $250.00 over for the month of April. This is due to the fact that the ABC Assistant did not receive a check in March.


The Local was $4,392.45 under the monthly budgeted amount of $67,708.13 for total expenses. The net income for the month of April was $1,349.34. The Local is showing an increase in net income of $37,410.61 YTD for the fiscal year.


2007-05-02     MOTION MADE to accept the financial report as presented.


            MAKER: Johnson                  SECOND: McDermott           MOTION APPROVED


Mr. Lee asked for a record of the Ayes and Nays. There were all Ayes.


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


2007-05-03     MOTION MADE to accept the following applicants: Elias C. Agritellis, daily hire at MCTV; Edward L. Krivis, daily hire at NBC; Richard Tony Calloway, staff at PBS.


            MAKER: McDermott            SECOND: Lee            MOTION APPROVED


Mr. Lee asked for a record of the Ayes and Nays. There were all Ayes.


3.         Union Leader Printing Resolution: Union Leader Printing prepared signs and posters for the WJLA mobilization. These signs were to have been printed in a Union shop and for which we had agreed on a price for the work. We learned later that these signs were printed in a non-union shop in Aberdeen, Maryland and the Union Trades bug was added later. We have considered this to be a breach of contract. Local 31 offered a lesser amount in settlement for the non-union work, which Union Leader has rejected. Therefore, on advice of counsel, we have made the following resolution:


Resolved, that the Local pay Union Leader Printing $1470 to settle our outstanding balance for mobilization signs,


That the Local’s attorney draft letters to be signed by the attorney and the President,


That the letters should be directed to the Allied Printing Trades Council of Washington, the CWA and any other appropriate union informing them that Union Leader Printing affixed a registered Trades Council seal on the posters and then shipped them to a non-union printer to do the actual printing,


That Union Leader Printing did in fact attempt to deceive the Local of their actions,


That Local 31 urges the Trades Council to take appropriate action against Union Leader Printing and urges other union s to boycott this firm.


2007-05-04     MOTION MADE to approve the resolution as stated above.


            MAKER: Parr                        SECOND: Thomas     MOTION APPROVED


Mr. Lee asked for a record of the Ayes and Nays. There were all Ayes.


Secretary’s Report


1.         Correspondence:


            A.        Letter from Election Committee re: Parr Challenge of MCT Seat on Executive Board:


To:Executive Board


From:Election Credentials Committee


Treasurer Parr recently ruled that the Executive Board’s appointment of Sister Krieger to the MCT seat on the Executive Board is “null and void”. Your Elections Committee is unaware of any section in our Local By-Laws that gives him a judicial role to declare anything “null and void”. He did not chair either the March or April meeting of the Executive Board, in which role he could have ruled that certain motions were out of order, nor, as best we can tell, was he appointed to some special judicial committee of one. Rather, it will be our Sector leadership sitting as a judicial body that decides whether a particular action of our Executive Board is “null and void”.


Regarding the “contract unit” seats on our Executive Board, your Elections Committee prior to Year 2001 did include in each contract unit any freelance member who worked under that contract for more than 20 days in a year. (The number was chosen to mimic the threshold for freelancers being allowed to vote in contract ratifications.) Beginning in Year 2001, the Executive Board was expanded to include a seat specifically representing freelance members and we believe it was the drafters’ intention to make it the unique voice for freelancers. We find By-Law 4.44 to be ambiguous as to whether freelance members should also be counted in those contract groups where they worked for more than 20 days in a year, but we believe the sentiment of that earlier Executive Board and its By-Law Committee was that they should not. By-Law 4.40 should be helpful here since it instructs the Executive Board every January to determine which contract unit each member falls into, but we have found their guidance since 2001 to be a little vague. More detail would be helpful. We also believe the Executive Board needs to regularly revisit this question of structure if our Local is to remain relevant and responsive to a membership that continues to skew more and more toward the freelance side, otherwise we will give disproportionately large voices to the shrinking ranks of full-time members.


For now, we believe that all the “contract” seats on the Executive Board are intended for the full-time (and any guaranteed part-time) workers at each location, and the freelance seat is for our freelance members. So we believe Sister Krieger, as a daily hire at MCT, is not eligible to hold that seat. She CAN be a candidate for the Alternate Freelance position right now, and can be a candidate for the regular Freelance seat in two years when that seat is up for election. And she can petition the Executive Board at any time to re-think and revise the composition and number of Executive Board seats (Sec 3.31).


            B. Letter from Election Committee re: Status of Executive Board Members:


To:Executive Board


From:Election Credentials Committee


Brother Parr is challenging the status of certain Executive Board members who were held over from the term just ended. Your Elections Committee has reviewed the procedures followed in this election and we believe that these elections were conducted in accordance with our By-Laws (both Local 31 and the CWA Sector), and that they satisfy the election guidelines from the Dept of Labor. They are also consistent with the practices we have followed for many years. Specifically:


            •    A timely notice of nominations & election was mailed to all members.

            •    The notice stated how to obtain nomination petitions, where to submit them, and when they were due.

            •    Dates were set for balloting by mail (and a mail vote was, in fact, conducted for one contract group).

            •    In cases where the process produced no successor to the current Exec Board member, we were guided by Local By-Law 4.42 that states that incumbents can continue to serve “until their successors shall be elected”.

We think a clarification here is important: Article IV of our Local By-Laws is entitled “Elections”. It describes the entire election process, beginning with the posting of notices and ending with the reporting of results. Casting ballots is just one part. We did hold elections this year for all Executive Board seats. In some cases only one candidate submitted a nomination before the deadline. Since we do not permit write-in candidates on our ballots, it has been our policy for many years not to send out ballots for these uncontested seats. The candidates are elected “without opposition”. In other cases, no one submitted a petition, not even the incumbent. We viewed it as the members showing some support for the incumbent. Again, no ballot was sent out. The incumbent was asked to remain for another term under By-Law 4.42.


Both the CWA rules and the Dept of Labor guidelines state that officers must be elected at least every three years. Our By-Laws specify an even shorter cycle of every two years for Exec Board members. We held these elections. The process was wide open. No member in good standing was denied full participation or free choice by any procedure we followed.


While we believe these elections were conducted properly and this challenge has no merit, we think the legal costs for our Local to fight this challenge and the delays arising from having a paralyzed Executive Board that is waiting for a legal decision about some of its members, far outweigh the cost of re-running the challenged elections. Therefore we will repeat the election for those Executive Board seats where no candidate submitted a timely petition.


            Special elections will be held for the following Executive Board seats:


            ABC               NBC               TVS                WJLA

            MCT               PBS                WHUT 


            Suggested date to send out postcards announcing the election: May 15, 2007.

            Suggested deadline for accepting nominations: June 1, 2007.

            Suggested dates for conducting a mail ballot: June 4-21, 2007.


            C.        Letter from President Clark and the SEC instructions: (See attached).


President’s Report


1.         NCC Meeting in LA. (See attached report.)


2.         CWA Convention Delegate: President Mayers reports that he will, in fact, attend the CWA convention in Toronto this summer.


Staff Report


1.         Union Leave Report: May 2007 - 15 days + ½ hr


ABC:14 days

5/14 - Executive Board - Dave Parr & Moe Thomas

5/15 - Executive Board - Jim Lee

5/20-5/31 - Negotiations - Moe Thomas


NBC:1 day

5/14 - Executive Board - Richard McDermott


               NPR:½ hour

5/14 - Executive Board - Stu Rushfield - ½ hr


April 2007 - 5 days + ½ hr


               ABC:        3 days 

4/1/07 - Negotiations - Moe Thomas

4/9 - Executive Board - Dave Parr

4/10 - Executive Board - Jim Lee


               NBC:        1 day

4/9 - Executive Board - Mike Queen


               NPR:1 day + ½ hour

4/9 - Executive Board - Stu Rushfield - ½ hr

4/27 - Elections Credentials Committee - Stu 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 -    Andy Henle

MCT -   Elizabeth Harris

NBC -    William Kavis

   Edward Krivis

   Michael Loomis

NPR -    Erin Scott

PBS -     Brian Dullaghan

WJLA - Kathryn Callwood

Sammy-Zeke Changuris

Michael Fuhr

Claudia Gonzalez

Stephen Greisiger

Michael Gutridge

George J. Williams




1.         None




1.   Date of next Executive Board Meeting: The next meeting will be held on Monday, June 11, 2007, beginning at 6:30 pm.


2.   Elections Credentials Committee Report: (See Chairman Tom Marchitto’s letters above.) Chairman Marchitto reported that there has been a freelance representative on the board since the Allmond administration. He stated that the committee stands ready to conduct whatever election may be required to fill the remaining vacancies.


3.   SEC Report on Parr’s Appeal: Sector President John Clark wrote President Carl Mayers to report the resolution of the SEC in response to Treasurer Parr’s appeal to the actions of the Executive Board in allowing the seating of Ms. Barbara Krieger as the elected representative of the MCT contract group. The SEC found that the actions of the Executive Board were improper and ordered that the Board make clear determinations for Executive Board candidates and election procedures.


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


2007-05-05     MOTION MADE to go into Executive Session.


MAKER: Lee                    SECOND: Johnson                MOTION APPROVED


Mr. Lee asked for a record of the Ayes and Nays. There were all Ayes.


2007-05-06     MOTION MADE to come out of Executive Session.


MAKER: Parr                    SECOND: Lee                        MOTION APPROVED


Mr. Lee asked for a record of the Ayes and Nays. There were all Ayes.


2007-05-07     RESOLUTION concerning the Rules for Special Elections for the remaining open Executive Board seats and the guidelines for Freelance/Daily Hires to run for certain contract units.


WHEREAS pursuant to Local By-Law 3.31, the Local 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 the Local Executive Board has been instructed to promulgate reasonable and clear guidelines for eligibility of candidates wishing to run for election as an Executive Board Representative, in accordance with the resolution of the NABET-CWA Sector Executive Council, as reported in President Clark’s Letter of May 4, 2007, and


WHEREAS the SEC resolution further calls for the promulgation of these rules by the Executive Board to be submitted to the Sector President, on behalf of the Sector Executive Council, for approval not later than June 12, 2007,


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the following rules and guidelines shall apply to this election for Executive Board Representative:


1.   Each contract group shall elect one primary representative, and may also elect one alternate representative. The groups for this election are ABC, NBC, PBS, NPR, MCT, WHUT, WJLA, WRC, and HRS. Except as provided below, each contract unit shall elect a full time staff member as their representative. The Freelance/Daily Hire representative shall be elected from among all Daily Hire members at large.

2.   In any Contract Unit where there are less than 50 total bargaining unit employees, and the number of Daily Hire employees is a clear majority of the total number of employees in that unit, a Daily Hire member may be elected to the Executive Board to represent that Unit. The candidate shall have worked a minimum of 15 days in the past 3 months within that contract group, and a majority of their work must continue to be within that contract group. In the event that this Executive Board Member can no longer maintain a reasonably close association with the contract group that they represent (defined as less than 15 days in a quarter, resignation or retirement from employment at that workplace, or in the event the majority of their employment in the last 12 months is not with that contract group), they shall tender their resignation within 30 days and a special election for that seat shall be held for his or her replacement.

3.   Every candidate for Executive Board Representative and Alternate must submit a valid, timely filed petition for the office as specified by the Local By-laws and the Elections Committee.

4.   Each nominee must be a member in good standing of the Local or a contract unit for more than one year prior to the election.

5.   In the event of resignation from the Executive Board, recall, death, or disqualification of and Executive Board Member, a special election shall be held for his or her replacement.

6.   A candidate for Executive Board representative shall not accept nomination for more than one contract unit on the Board.

            7.   Voter qualification for smaller units: Any Daily Hire that satisfies the requirements of paragraph 2 above shall be eligible to vote in that unit. This provision shall not preclude a Daily Hire from voting for the Daily Hire representative.

            MAKER: Thomas                 SECOND: Johnson    RESOLUTION PASSED

2007-05-08     MOTION MADE to table Resolution 2007-05-07.

            MAKER: Thomas                  SECOND: Johnson    MOTION APPROVED

After extensive discussion, the Executive Board decided that, given the close scrutiny of the Local by the SEC and perhaps others, it would be wise not to appoint or seat any member who was not duly elected or nominated since 2005.

Noted for the record: Former NBC Representative Michael Queen was outraged by the decision not to seat prior 2005 members.

4.   AFLAC: We have made additions and improvements to the AFLAC display on our web page and ask that members please visit their website for additional information on replacement income insurance.

5.   Cardozar Worthy: President Mayers reports that the matter will be held in abeyance until further notice.

6.   Coalition of Labor Women: No action taken.

7.   Labor Arbitration Institute Conference: No action taken.

8.   ABC Affairs: As TV-C goes into operations, several grievances have been filed.

9.   Freelance Affairs: No report.

10. HRS Affairs: For the month of April, there have been no contract violations. We are now interviewing for the two Production positions and if they are filled from within, this would free up two temp slots. If you have any questions my telephone numbers are at the end of this memo. With our new facilities at the Capitol Visitor’s Center, which includes a two camera studio? Hopefully, this will also provide a chance to hire more employees. Carl and Paula met with Dan Beard, our new Chief Administrative Officer and his staff for an informal meeting about our bargaining unit contract and other issues. According to Paula and Carl, it was a very productive meeting. Hopefully, we can meet in the future with Carl again about some of our ideas concerning “open shop”. I know Steve has mentioned some thoughts on this matter (problem) at the Executive Board meetings. We have members of our unit that are upset about non-paying members reaping the benefits of the contract and not paying any dues. “I would hope this would become a front burner issue especially with any new hires that are not already union employees!” I hate to keep bringing this issue up, but I do get a lot of questions about this dilemma. For any job openings, you can always check by going to, click on “Employment Opportunities” and scroll to “vacancy announcements” under CAO/Office of House Support Services. We still need a few Freelance Technicians for our freelance list for the House Recording studio. You may contact me directly at 202-225-3941 with your information, or you can call me at my home number (410)263-5650. The pay rate is $349.26 for 8 hours.

11. MCT Affairs: Contract negotiations are underway. The current NABET-CWA and MCT Labor Agreement expires on June 30, 2007. Bargaining-unit-member Barbara Krieger, being the only person who applied, has been named negotiator. The first round of negotiations is on Tuesday, May 22. The next two scheduled negotiation rounds are scheduled for Thursday, May 31, and Friday, June 1.

One issue that has been brought to my attention is that MCT has been using interns to shoot and edit video material that MCT has used for promotional and/or informational purposes without the presence of a bargaining-unit employee overseeing them. I believe this is a violation of Section 10.2(a) of our agreement, which states the following:

SECTION 10.2 No person, other than a covered Employee, may perform the duties of the Employees as defined below:

(a) Except, in case of emergencies (for 24 hours prior to and lasting for 72 hours), unanticipated events,(for 24 hours prior to and lasting for 72 hours) unanticipated Employee absence (for 24 hours prior to and lasting for up to one (1) work week), and, when necessary to cover during lunch breaks, non-unit employees or interns may perform Bargaining Unit work provided that the performance of such work shall not cause the reduction of the Bargaining Unit or hours of work of Bargaining Unit Employees. Interns may perform Bargaining Unit work, however this shall not be done to replace Bargaining Unit Employees, nor cause a reduction of the Bargaining Unit, and at no time in such cases, shall an intern be solely responsible for performing bargaining unit work.

I am sending an email (for documentation purposes) to MCT management (Executive Director Richard Turner and Client Services Director Laura Randall Cooper) to enforce the use of bargaining-unit employees as instructors/overseers in the production of the aforementioned intern projects. I will invite them to a face-to-face meeting on the subject as well. I will report the results of this communication with the local's officers.

12. NBC Affairs: No report.

13. NPR Affairs: It was discovered that NPR and AFTRA have formed a “quality of work-life” committee, which discusses issues involved with the planning, design and implementation of the new NPR headquarters. NPR has added two NABET members to that committee. A BRT has invoked Sideletter #2 of the NPR-NABET Contract, asking for a review of proposed changes to the BRT annual leave selection process. Informal discussions regarding proposed changes are underway, and a committee has been formed to determine changes to the selection process that may be submitted to BRT’s for a vote. NPR announced that it intends to enter into a cooperative technical activity with a member station for the purposes of airing a debate among the Presidential candidates. NPR has not divulged details as to the involvement of NABET members. The formulation of a new NPR-NABET “Compact” continues. One meeting was held on May 9 with NABET shop stewards and officials. A second meeting is scheduled for May 16.

14. PBS Affairs: The unit has a negotiator, and there will be additional expert assistance from time to time.

15. SRS Affairs: Negotiations are still on hold.

16. TVS/CNN Affairs: No report. We expect a hearing on the charges on September 24th.

17. WHUT-TV Affairs: No report.

18. WJLA Affairs: The contract has been signed by the Local President and the Sector President. Final contract books are in process.

19. WMAL Affairs: No report.

20. WRC Affairs: President Mayers, VP Lee, Executive Board members, shop stewards and presidential assistants met with NBCU Labor Attorney Jim Kiick, DC-Human Resource Manager Rachel Manning and other managers to discuss labor relations at NBC Washington. Although we don’t agree on all issues, we will endeavor to resolve outstanding issues.

2007-05-09     MOTION MADE to adjourn at 11:03 pm.


Mr. Lee asked for a record of the Ayes and Nays. There were all Ayes.

Respectfully submitted,




Maurice Thomas, III