New York Times workers walk out in December 2022 for a fair contract. (New York Times Guild)

New York Times Guild wins groundbreaking contract agreement

Five-year contract includes immediate $65,000 salary floor, hybrid work options, a ban on NDAs, new investments in local news around the country

Agreement reached after a series of escalating collective actions by workers, including the first full work stoppage since the 1970s

NEW YORK — The New York Times Guild, a unit of The NewsGuild of New York, announced on Tuesday that it has reached a tentative agreement with The New York Times Company on a new collective bargaining contract after more than two years of negotiations. The tentative agreement, which must be ratified by members to go into effect, is a five-year deal that will be effective until March 2026.

The agreement will set new standards for working conditions, wages and benefits across the media industry. The deal addresses a majority of the provisions that Times workers have demanded since their previous contract expired in March 2021, at the height of the pandemic. 

“This deal is a victory for all the union members who fought for a fair contract that rewards our hard work and sacrifice,” said Bill Baker, New York Times communications coordinator and Times Guild unit chair. “It shows that the company cannot take us for granted and must be held accountable.”

The five-year contract, effective after ratification, includes: 

  • A universal $65,000 salary floor;
  • Immediate raises of at least 10.6 percent for all members, with 12.5 percent raises for the lowest earners, and annual wage increases now based on actual pay rather than contract minimums;
  • The first contractual agreement on hybrid work in Times Guild history;
  • A ban on the use of nondisclosure agreements in cases of workplace abuse or harassment;
  • Expanded benefits, including $50,000 in fertility coverage and paid sabbaticals of four weeks for every 10 years worked at the company;
  • An agreement on paths to expand our newsroom, including into local markets across the country, with new jobs that will be part of the union and pay fair minimum salaries.

The deal also includes a lump sum payment to staff members and about 70 temporary and casual workers, equivalent to 7 percent of wages earned since the last contract expired.

The 1,500-member Times Guild represents journalists at The New York Times, along with ad sales workers, information technology workers, security guards and workers at The Times Center, the company’s event venue. Newsroom employees at The New York Times have been represented by The NewsGuild of New York since 1941. 

To secure the contract, workers engaged in a series of escalating actions, including multiple petitions, reply-all email chains, social media campaigns and in-person collective actions:

  • In November 2021, joining the Times Tech Guild and the Wirecutter Union, Times Guild members gathered for a mass protest outside The New York Times Building in Midtown. 
  • In September 2022, workers pledged to stay home rather than return to the office as the company requested.
  • In December 2022, more than 1,000 workers walked off the job for a 24-hour work stoppage, the first at The Times since the 1970s. 
  • In March 2023, hundreds of members marched through the newsroom to demand that the company return to the bargaining table, and more than 1,000 signed a petition telling upper management to complete contract negotiations.
  • In April 2023, members marched on their bosses during a stockholder meeting.

The Guild continuously pushed back against the company’s union-busting tactics. Management slow-walked negotiations and tried to limit workers’ ability to observe their union’s contract talks. Management also tried to force some workers to return to the office while ignoring the union’s proposals on remote work. The workers refused to come to the office for a week and filed an unfair labor practice charge over the mandatory return. The National Labor Relations Board recently notified the company that it will issue a complaint against The Times based on the Guild’s charge. 

The bargaining committee also successfully defended the Guild’s pension, health care fund and other existing benefits, which the company repeatedly tried to gut. 

“Today, Guild members at The New York Times have won a contract that makes the company a more fair and equitable place to work and raises the bar for worker compensation across the media industry. This contract is a significant step toward recognizing our members’ contributions to the ongoing success of The New York Times,” said Susan DeCarava, President of The NewsGuild of New York. “At every stage, our members refused to settle and deepened their solidarity to demand better. We hope our fight inspires other workers to build power through collective action and to have a voice in their workplaces.” 

Guild members will vote on whether or not to ratify the contract in the coming weeks. A fact sheet on the contract can be found here.