New Guild Executive Committee meets, plans more updates for members

The Executive Committee of the News Media Guild met recently in New York City with new members Barbara Rodriguez of Des Moines and Steve Karnowski of Minneapolis. New member Jill Bleed of Little Rock was unable to join us because she’s a new mom; she’ll be available for our joint meeting with the Representative Assembly in August.

Members John Braunreiter of Milwaukee, Vin Cherwoo of NYC and Don Ryan of Portland, Ore., also attended the meeting.

From left back, Rick Freeman, who represented the RA; Guild administrator Kevin Keane; VP John Braunreiter; VP Don Ryan; VP Steve Karnowski; front from left, President Martha Waggoner; VP Barbara Rodriguez; and Secretary-Treasurer Vin Cherwoo.

From left back, Rick Freeman, who represented the RA; Guild administrator Kevin Keane; VP John Braunreiter; VP Don Ryan; VP Steve Karnowski; front from left, President Martha Waggoner; VP Barbara Rodriguez; and Secretary-Treasurer Vin Cherwoo.

The highlight is that the EC promised to stay more in touch with the members when we’re not bargaining. It’s easy to forget the majority of your union’s work happens when we’re not bargaining.

Administrator Kevin Keane is always responding to emails, helping staffers with evaluations and investigating possible grievances or filing them. So we agreed to keep you updated on those grievances and contract-related issues with emails such as the one sent earlier this week about job security.

We also will request meetings with AP to review human rights, training, health and safety and professionalism concerns.

Barbara agreed to try her hand at WiReport with the goal of having an issue to the printer by June 1. John, the Guild’s first vice president, has already worked on our mobile website so that its appearance is better on iPhones.

Barbara and Vin, our secretary-treasurer, agreed to help administrate the website. I’m taking a course this week on managing a WordPress page, and I’ll share what I learn with them. We’re thinking about changing the site so that a video isn’t emphasized because we have a hard time finding video. Maybe a main story and a photo? We are open to suggestions from you.

Barbara also is a new administrator of our Facebook page, which we will update more often.

I’m still the sole administrator of the Guild’s twitter page but hope to change that soon. We hope that you’re checking out our website occasionally because we are trying to update it often.

John and I plan to attend the CWA convention, which will be held in June in Detroit. The EC voted to endorse Sara Steffens for CWA secretary-treasurer. Sara is the acting S-T of The NewsGuild-CWA, our parent union.

She’s running with Chris Shelton, the current VP in CWA District 1, and against Annie Hill, the incumbent S-T. Annie is running alone without a presidential candidate on her ticket so at this point, Chris faces no opposition.

The outgoing board recently approved a two-year contract with Kevin, and now this board will turn its attention to getting a contract with the Guild Staff Union, which is the union of our one full-time and two part-time staffers.

The board also approved a resolution thanking outgoing EC members Linda Johnson, David Melendy and Mike Mazzo for their work with the union. Martha personally thanks Mike for his Air Mazzo transportation services.

Finally, we’re looking for members to run for open seats as delegates and alternates on the RA. If you wonder if we’re looking at you, we are. We encourage you to step up and get more involved with YOUR union.