The News Media Guild’s Executive Committee will recommend bylaws changes later this year, including a realignment of the union’s governing bodies.
The EC voted unanimously at its meeting in February to recommend that the union have five rather than seven members on the EC. It also voted to realign the Representative Assembly and to have fewer RA members.
“The recommendations reflect the fact that The Associated Press has fewer staffers so the union needs fewer people to represent those staffers,” Guild President Martha Waggoner said.
In addition, the changes will reduce costs, which is important as the Guild deals with a diminishing membership base in the wake of AP layoffs and staff departures, Waggoner said.
Waggoner and Kevin Keane, the Guild’s administrative officer have revised the bylaws, which the union’s attorney will review before all the proposed changes are mailed to members to vote.
Another proposed change involves the number of people necessary to sign a nominating form for Guild elections. The bylaws now require 10 signatures, and the EC is recommending that the number be reduced to three. The EC recommends this change also because of the reduction in the number of AP staffers.
During its two-day meeting, the EC also reviewed the budget; discussed ongoing bargaining at The Guardian; and reviewed plans for bargaining for AP staffers, whose contract expires at the end of September.
In addition to Keane and Waggoner, the EC members attending the meeting were: John Braunreiter, first vice president; Vin Cherwoo, secretary-treasurer; Barbara Rodriguez, second vice president; Don Ryan, third vice president; Steve Karnowski, fourth vice president; and Jill Bleed, fifth vice president.
The RA’s vice chair, Stephanie Nano, also attended the meeting; the RA chair, Carla Johnson, participated by phone.