MinnPost Union wins first contract, becoming the third Guild unit this week

Workers at MinnPost, a digital nonprofit news organization, ratified their first collective bargaining agreement on Tuesday, less than seven months after they won voluntary union recognition. They were the third NewsGuild unit this week to announce a new contract.

“We are immensely proud that after voting unanimously to form a union and having our union voluntarily recognized by management over the summer, we have reached an agreement on a contract,” said MinnPost reporter Greta Kaul. “This contract is a step towards a stronger MinnPost, with raises for every union employee, more paid time off and more comprehensive parental leave. It also means MinnPost employees will have more insight into decisions by the board and by management.”

The new agreement establishes minimum salaries that will give most members big pay increases, effective Jan. 1, 2022.

Fellowship: $48,000
Reporter 1: $ 58,000
Reporter 2: $63,000 (8+ years of professional reporting experience):
Creative Director: $58,000
User Experience Engineer: $76,000
Development Coordinator: $45,000
Membership Manager: $60,000

The salary of anyone who does not realize an increase in pay through the new minimums will receive an increase of $2,100, and $5,000 will be added to annual salary to cover living expenses of employees assigned primarily to cover Washington D.C.

The new contract expands leave for new parents: Beginning with the new year, parental leave will be with full pay.

The agreement also includes “just cause” protections in cases involving involuntary termination and stipulates that discipline must be progressive and corrective, not punitive. The contract establishes a grievance procedure to resolve disputes, including arbitration if disputes cannot be resolved between the union and management.

The agreement will create opportunities for union members to review their immediate supervisors and other management employees.

Union employees will receive a copy of the agenda in advance of meetings of MinnPost’s board, and a copy of the minutes within two weeks after board meetings. During staff meetings, employees will receive written summaries of the topics discussed and any decisions reached at leadership team meetings.

If the event layoffs are contemplated, 30 days advance notice will be given to the union and there will be an opportunity to meet and discuss alternative cost savings measures. Voluntary departures will be solicited first, with severance; severance will consist of two weeks’ pay for every full year of employment; temp or part-time employees will be laid off before regular full-time employees, with some exceptions, and laid off employees will be on a recall list for one year.

There will be flexibility for employees to make individual decisions on remote work vs. shared office work.

“We are so proud of our team and thank everyone for the support,” MinnPost Union tweeted. They are part of the Minnesota Newspaper and Communications Guild Local 37002.

Follow the MinnPostUnion on Twitter @MinnPostUnion.