One of the most important rights workers gain when we form a union is the right to engage in collective bargaining – the right to negotiate with management to create a legally binding contract that governs wages, hours and conditions of employment. This can include minimum pay rates, health insurance, severance pay, due process, holidays, vacation time, parental leave, anti-discrimination policies and more.

Collective bargaining means having a seat at the table when important decisions are made about our jobs, our livelihood and the service we provide for our community.

The Guild has a wealth of resources and experience negotiating with management and, since its inception during the depths of the Great Depression in the 1930s, has set standards for media employees across the industry.

But it is NewsGuild members who set the priorities for bargaining, participate in negotiations, mobilize our co-workers and make decisions about how to leverage our strength to win work-floor improvements.

Juan Carlos Rodriguez (with bullhorn) at a picket in November 2018 during the fight for a first contract.

“Law360 organized with the NewsGuild because we were sick of being taken advantage of and exploited by our company. We had unreasonable work quotas, a ridiculous non-compete agreement, and an illegal overtime pay system. Through organizing and battling for nearly two years for our first contract we got rid of those problems and instituted job protection in the form of just cause, pay raises, and all kinds of other benefits for workers that didn’t exist before. Working in a union shop has brought us closer together and created a community where there wasn’t one before – a community of professional journalists that have each other’s backs and are willing to stand up, speak out, and fight for what’s right in the workplace.”

— Juan Carlos Rodriguez, senior reporter, Law360

“After layoffs, hiring freezes and buyouts drastically reduced the size of the Miami Herald’s newsroom in recent years, management was making all the decisions without any of the input from the lifeblood of the organization. It was time to organize. 

“Since then, we have held off staffing cuts to the newsroom, organized COVID protections for our journalists, created a stronger voice in diversity efforts and management hiring decisions and, most important for a chain-owned shop, we now have agency when fending off the one-size-fits-all approaches to news that fails our local community.” 

Mary Ellen Klas, Tallahassee bureau chief, Miami Herald