Rochester Democrat & Chronicle and Canandaigua Daily Messenger Journalists Win New Contract After Historic 19-Day Strike

New contract addresses decades of wage stagnation and improves job security

Media Contact: Asya Pikovsky, asya.pikovsky@gmail.com, 207-522-2442

ROCHESTER – Unionized journalists at the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle and Canandaigua Daily Messenger unanimously ratified a tentative agreement on a two-year collective bargaining contract today, after two and a half years of bargaining and a 19-day strike that forced Gannett to scramble to find coverage for a series of major news events, including the total solar eclipse in the Rochester area. The strike ended on April 24th, but the parties continued discussions over the past several weeks after journalists filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board over allegations of bad-faith bargaining and retaliation for union activity. 

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OUP USA Guild Stages One-Day Strike in Response to Unfair Labor Charges

MEDIA CONTACTS:
OUP USA Guild / oupusaguildnyc@gmail.com
Luis Espinosa / News Media Guild / 720-261-4578 / lespinosao@icloud.com

WHAT: Members of the Oxford University Press USA Guild (a unit of the News Guild-CWA Local
31222) will stage a one-day strike after filing several Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges against the
employer. This strike follows nearly three years of contract negotiations with Oxford University Press.
Speakers will include members of the Guild, News Media Guild President Vin Cherwoo, IAPE 1096
representative Marissa Dadiw, OUP author and labor historian Shannan Clark, and others.

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Employees at America’s Largest Healthcare Union 1199SEIU-UHWE Vote to Unionize Themselves by Huge Margin: A Labor History Milestone

Bruce Jett, Washington-Baltimore News Guild Local Representative – (703) 627-4547 – b.corneljett@gmail.com 

Washington, DC — Today, 1199SEIU-UHWE In House Staff – from New York to Massachusetts to Florida voted overwhelmingly by 82.3% to join the Washington-Baltimore News Guild (TNG-CWA Local 32035), securing collective bargaining rights for roughly 260 employees at America’s largest healthcare union representing over 450,000 members across the East Coast.

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Newsletter: Big Organizing Vote Today!

Teachers and staff at Virginia’s largest school district— Fairfax County – are celebrating a historic union victory. This week, Fairfax County Public School workers overwhelmingly voted in favor of forming a union. Over 27,000 workers are now solely represented by Fairfax Education Unions.

Congratulations to both the educators and the FEU staff – who are NewsGuild members! – for organizing the most successful public sector bargaining campaign won in 25 years!

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Newsletter: Trust Journalists. Not AI.

Nebraska journalists at the Omaha World-Herald Guild are celebrating a new two-year contract with Lee Enterprises. The contract – the Guild’s third with the company – was passed unanimously and guarantees multiple wage increases, immediate raises for all union members, new protections from Artificial Intelligence, expanded bereavement definition and more. Journalists in Omaha first organized in October 2018.

Congratulations to the Omaha World-Herald Guild! When we fight, we win!

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Illinois State Legislature Approves Funding for Local News

Through the state budget process, the Illinois legislature recently included several proposals to address growing news deserts and revive local news in the state.

Illinois newsrooms have seen a staggering 85 percent drop in the number of reporters since 2005, according to Northwestern University’s 2023 State of Local News report.

The state budget provisions include:

  • $25 million ($5 million over 5 years) in employment tax credits to newsrooms that hire or retain local reporters
  • $15,000 per current reporter and $25,000 per new hire for qualifying newsrooms
  • A $150,000 limit on how much a given newsroom can receive, a $250,000 limit for corporations.

The funding is available to both for-profit and nonprofit news organizations with at least one full-time local reporter.

“The financialization of news has deeply hampered the ability of communities across the country to receive accurate, informative news,” says Jon Schleuss, President of the NewsGuild-CWA. “We applaud the Illinois state legislature for utilizing the state budget process to implement innovative solutions to save local news jobs.”

The Illinois state legislature has also passed a bill aimed at greedy corporations and private equity groups. The bill requires that any newspaper in Illinois that intends to sell itself to an out-of-state entity must give the community and its employees 120-day notice, so that the community can consider organizing an acquisition bid.  This is the first “replanting” provision enacted into law in the United States.

“Requiring advance notice for sales protects employees and ensures communities are aware of changes that might affect their local news sources,” says Illinois State Senator Steve Stadelman, co-sponsor of the bill.

That same bill also includes first-of-its-kind language to establish the Journalism Student Scholarship Program to help support students who are pursuing careers in Illinois journalism through financial assistance. The bill has passed both state houses, but has yet to be signed by the governor.

Newsletter: UFCW workers go on strike, News Corp in bed with AI

UFCW Guild members just wrapped up a 24-hour strike against their employer in response to unfair labor practice charges filed against the union. That’s right. UFCW, the union, is the employer and we’ve represented the members for a very long time there. This marks the 30th strike by NewsGuild members so far in 2024.

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