Journalists at 4 Washington State publications reach tentative agreement on a first contract

The bargaining committee of the Washington State NewsGuild reached a tentative agreement with management on a first contract on May 26. The agreement will cover journalists at four McClatchy-owned publications: the Bellingham Herald, Tri-City Herald, Tacoma News Tribune and Olympian.

The agreement follows about a year of bargaining. “Our members never stopped fighting to protect local news and for what they deserve,” members of the unit tweeted the day after the agreement was reached.

Highlights of the deal include:

  • Minimum salaries of $48K for current journalists
  • An end to two-tiered salary floors at papers
  • Guaranteed raises in second and third years of the agreement
  • Protections against outsourcing protections
  • Return to a 40-hour work week, which will result a large restoration of pay for union members

“We just want to say thank you to all of the community members and readers who have supported us and our fight for a fair contract, especially within this past week. We could not have done this without your help,” they said.

“We also want to say thank you to our fellow union colleagues across the company for all of their hard work, support and guidance, as we push toward better, more equitable and sustainable working conditions.”

The workers won recognition of the Washington State NewsGuild about 15 months ago. They organized to ensure that journalists of the four publications could continue to report on and serve their local communities. They are part of the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild Local 37082.

Newsletter: The Hill journalists launch union campaign, more workers under contract

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Great news! Journalists at The Hill announced last week that they are unionizing! A supermajority of the roughly 80 reporters, designers, copy editors, producers and social media curators have signed cards in support of the effort. They will join the Washington-Baltimore News Guild Local 32035.

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Newsletter: We are worth more.

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Over the weekend there was devastating news out of Buffalo, N.Y. Ten people were killed and three wounded when a gunman opened fire in a supermarket on Saturday in an act of racist violence. My heart goes out to the people of Buffalo, which is known as the city of good neighbors. I commend the brave reporting by Buffalo Newspaper Guild journalists. Members “jumped into action to faithfully tell the story. It’s a task we will continue to vigorously pursue.”

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University of North Carolina report examines upsurge in newsroom unionization

“According to NewsGuild, there was about a 500% jump in workers joining the NewsGuild union from 2017 to 2018.” 

Lauren Lindstrom saw the benefits of being part of a union during her four years as a reporter for the Toledo Blade, her first journalism job out of college, a recent study by the University of North Carolina reports.

“I learned first-hand from older journalists what working in a unionized newsroom looks like: Having each other’s backs, having more say in your workplace, better working conditions for journalists who have been suffering for years,” she said.

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Newsletter: Our view on Roe v. Wade, Pulitzers

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Happy Pulitzer Day! At 3 p.m. ET today the awards will be announced for 2022. But at noon ET we’re asking you to tweet about the Pulitzer board’s refusal to take up our suggestion to require newsrooms to publicly report their diversity data.

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TIME workers threaten to strike on release of TIME 100

Workers have signed a pledge to walkout on the launch of the magazine’s iconic TIME100 franchise if a fair contract is not agreed to by then.  

The TIME Union announced plans for a one-day strike as their bargaining committee headed back into negotiations on Monday. Members have signed a letter to management announcing their plan to walkout on May 23, when the magazine releases its highly-anticipated annual TIME100, if a contract agreement is not reached by then.

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BuzzFeed News Union members ratify first contract

Members of the BuzzFeed News Union voted unanimously on Friday to ratify their first contract.

“Several members of the union bargaining committee started at BuzzFeed making less than $40,000 a year,” they said in a press statement. “Today, we ratified a contract that sets a salary floor for union jobs at $60,000.”

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Newsletter: Packing bargaining to deliver a message

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Workers at the Chicago Reader took to the streets to save their publication. Last Tuesday they tweeted “We won,” after co-owner Len Goodman stepped down, ending his attempt to delay the publication’s transition to a nonprofit.

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