Newsletter: Constitutional improvements in front of Saturday’s Sector Conference

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This Saturday we’ve got the 2021 NewsGuild Sector Conference. It’s our biennial conference where elected delegates set policies for our union, pass resolutions, amend our constitution and nominate officers.

Because of the pandemic it made sense to move this year’s conference to a virtual one and it will get started at 10 a.m. ET Saturday. I expect about 100 folks from all over the NewsGuild to attend. This year’s primary agenda will focus on some major changes to our constitution governing our elections. These proposed improvements will make sure that every member gets notified of their ability to be eligible to vote and that members get ballots delivered by mail until the U.S. Dept. of Labor allows electronic voting.

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Gannett journalists reject company denials of widespread unpaid overtime

Gannett call-center employees settled a class-action lawsuit for $650,000

Journalists at the nation’s biggest news chain are rejecting the company’s denials of widespread unpaid overtime.

And they’re not alone. Just last week, a U.S. District Court approved a $650,000 settlement of a class-action lawsuit by Gannett call-center employees who worked overtime without pay. The suit was filed in July 2019 and had a class of 95 people. Gannett initially denied that they engaged in any unlawful or improper conduct, just as they are currently denying such behavior  toward their journalists.

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NY Guild files Unfair Labor Practice charges against Gannett over union busting

Complaint Alleges Gannett Management Threatened Workers’ 401k Matches for Supporting Union Organizing Efforts

The NewsGuild of New York has filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board over Gannett union-busting tactics designed to derail the local’s organizing efforts. The complaint details how managers threatened adverse consequences, including loss of benefits, if they supported the union organizing effort.

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Journalists have receipts

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That’s the message to Gannett CEO Mike Reed on the subject of unpaid overtime at the nation’s biggest news chain.

We launched an investigation after members first tweeted about the practice inside Gannett and a top editor tweeted, “Every business exploits the young – it’s called gaining experience, and I don’t regret it one bit.” He later added, “Prove yourself and they’ll pay you.”

In my email to Reed, I let him know about the investigation and urged him to launch his own investigation, end the culture of exploitation and agree to the common-sense contract proposals advanced by journalists at Gannett.

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Gannett CEO must investigate unpaid overtime and end ‘culture of exploitation’

NewsGuild President Jon Schleuss has called on Gannett CEO Mike Reed to investigate allegations that employees are frequently expected to work overtime without pay and has called on him to end a “culture of exploitation” at the nation’s largest news chain.

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Journalists at Gannett’s Hudson Valley NY Publications Win Union Vote in a Blowout

The journalists of three Gannett-owned publications in New York state’s Hudson Valley voted 32 to 4 to join The NewsGuild of New York Local 31003 in an election supervised by the National Labor Relations Board. The new unit covers approximately 45 people at The Journal News, Poughkeepsie Journal and Times, and Herald-Record. Votes were tallied on Friday.

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Workers at Asbury Park Press, Home News Tribune, Courier News are Unionizing

The APP-MCJ Guild is the fourth Gannett group to organize with the NewsGuild of New York this year.

Journalists at the Asbury Park Press, Home News Tribune and Courier News announced Aug. 19 that they are unionizing. With more than 70% of eligible staffers signed on, the APP-MCJ Guild has requested voluntary recognition from Gannett management, which own the publications. They will become part of The NewsGuild of New York Local 31003.

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Hudson Valley Gannett workers are forming a union

Editorial employees to fight for local news and address pay, diversity, job security.

Editorial employees at three Gannett-owned publications in the Hudson Valley — The Journal News, Poughkeepsie Journal and Times and Herald-Record — announced Wednesday that they are unionizing with the NewsGuild of New York Local 31003. With more than 80% of eligible staffers signed on to the effort, the Hudson Valley News Guild has requested voluntary recognition from Gannett management.

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Atlantic Digital Producers are unionizing

New York – Digital producers on Gannett’s Atlantic Digital Optimization Team (DOT) have formed a union with the NewsGuild of New York, CWA Local 31003 to advocate for themselves, their profession and the communities they serve. These employees work across a five-state region that comprises 37 websites in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland.

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Study shows pay disparities for women and journalists of color as high as $27,000 at Gannett

A first-of-its-kind pay equity study of 14 Gannett newsrooms reveals stark pay disparities for women and journalists of color and a workforce whiter than the communities they cover.

The study of nearly 450 employees, conducted by NewsGuild-CWA members, also shows that unions make a difference. Unionized newsrooms with pay scales in their contracts had significantly smaller gender and racial pay gaps than newly organized units with no contracts yet in place, the report shows. With more than 250 publications, Gannett is the largest newspaper chain in the country.

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