Aug. 21, 2019 – Several questions have arisen since The NewsGuild-CWA Executive Council issued its decision regarding voter eligibility in the upcoming Guild presidential election. This article will help further clarify the process for achieving and maintaining good standing membership and voter eligibility.
Only Guild members in good standing are entitled to vote. That requires both signing a Guild membership or authorization card and payment of Guild dues.
Most Guild members who are working under a collective bargaining agreement have access to automatic payroll deduction of union dues through a dues checkoff arrangement. The employer deducts dues and remits them directly to the local union on members’ behalf, in accordance with members’ dues checkoff authorization.
Those members who have signed an authorization card but who are working without an initial contract (or whose contract does not include dues checkoff) do not have that option, but they can still pay dues and become eligible to vote in the upcoming election.
Those members who work in bargaining units that are associated with an existing Guild local can pay dues and initiation fees directly to their local. Members who are interested in doing so should contact their local president or treasurer, or their local Guild office to make arrangements, including learning the local dues rate and initiation fee (which is set by each Guild local) and the process for making payments.
Questions regarding contact information for local representatives can be directed to Executive Vice President Marian Needham at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members working at the Los Angeles Times and Omaha World Herald are not currently associated with a Guild local, but they (and any other members in a unit not associated with a Guild local) can pay dues and initiation fees as at-large members directly to the Guild’s headquarters.
The Executive Council has set the dues rate for at-large members at the Constitutional minimum, which is 1.3846% of compensation, to a monthly maximum dues of $155.85, with a $1 initiation fee. Members must provide a copy of their most recent paycheck along with their initial payment, (by check or money order, no cash or electronic payments).
At-large dues are payable on the first of each month and are calculated on the regular earnings of the previous month. However, the Sector Election and Referendum Committee has stated that for purposes of the rerun election, August 2019 dues may be paid no later than September 16, 2019. Thereafter, September dues are payable by October 1; October dues are payable by November 1, and so on.
Payments should be mailed to TNG-CWA Headquarters, at 501 Third Street NW, Sixth Floor, Washington DC 20001, attention Tina Harrison. Questions on payment may be directed to Tina at email@example.com or to Marian Needham at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All members, whether using a contractual checkoff agreement, paying manually to their local, or paying directly to TNG must continue to pay dues to remain in good standing. Any member whose dues payments are two months in arrears is automatically suspended and may be expelled or dropped from membership in accordance with Article XIII, Section 4 of the Guild Constitution. Article XXII, Section 6 of the Constitution authorizes the SERC to delete from the election eligibility list any members who have been expelled or dropped from membership. Therefore, it is important to continue to pay dues and to remain in good standing in order to vote.