July 31, 2019 – Newsroom employees at Crosscut and KCTS 9, part of Cascade Public Media in Seattle, voted 16-0 to unionize with the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild, Local 37082 of The NewsGuild-CWA.
Workers said they organized to fight for pay that keeps up with the cost of living, to preserve quality, in-depth journalism, and to push back against a troubling increased focus on click goals and quotas.
NewsGuild-CWA President Bernie Lunzer congratulated them on their outstanding victory and said, “You are fighting for the future of journalism and we are fighting with you. Welcome to the Guild family.”
The workers’ Mission Statement is below:
CROSSCUT EMPLOYEES UNION MISSION STATEMENT
July 8, 2019
We at Crosscut believe in the power of journalism to change our community for the better. Our staff aims to produce thoughtful coverage that shines a light on society’s problems, as well as potential solutions. Yet to continue to do our jobs well, we must also address challenges within our organization.
In the past year, our newsroom has struggled to retain and recruit talented staff. Part of that is due to pay that doesn’t keep up with Seattle’s rising cost of living; part of it is because of management’s unwillingness to offer vacation and other benefits commensurate with what experienced professionals can find elsewhere.
For Crosscut to grow and thrive, this must change.
Going forward, we need to ensure our staff — from photographers to video editors, from reporters to producers — have opportunities to grow and progress. Given the downsizing that has been happening in newsrooms throughout the country, we also want to ensure we have some protections if our newsroom faces similar layoffs.
At the same time, we want to maintain many of the things that make Crosscut special, including a focus on in-depth, quality reporting above click goals and quotas. We value our organization’s mission of informing and serving our local community in innovative ways, and want to see that tradition continue.
For these reasons, we are choosing to organize with the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild, Local 37082, part of The NewsGuild-CWA. CWA stands for Communications Workers of America.
By forming a union, we are seeking a greater role in shaping decisions that affect our lives, as well as the quality of the product we deliver to our growing audience.
We embark on this journey with the goal of working collaboratively with the leadership of Cascade Public Media, the organization that encompasses both Crosscut and KCTS 9. Our objective is constructive conversation and a seat at the table.
In that spirit of congeniality, we are asking Cascade Public Media to voluntarily recognize our bargaining unit.
Together, we can work to protect the many things we value about this organization. And together, we can carve out a path for improvement — one that can hopefully help us serve this community for many years to come.
Beatriz Costa Lima
Ana Sofia Knauf
Agueda Pacheco Flores