Shortly after midnight on Tuesday the POLITICO and E&E News (PEN) Guild reached a tentative agreement for its first-ever collective bargaining agreement after 20 months of negotiations.
Covering three years, the tentative contract includes numerous improvements for the company’s journalists, including higher pay that helps close inequities in the newsroom, stronger benefits and layoff protections — including enhanced protections against adoption of artificial intelligence, some of the industry’s first contract language regarding the use of AI.
“We formed this union because our colleagues were overworked, underpaid and lacked basic protections,” said Unit Chair Tanya Snyder, a transportation reporter for POLITICO Pro. “This contract will benefit our journalists and lead to a healthier, stronger newsroom.”
Members of PEN Guild, which represents over 270 journalists, must still ratify the contract.
Wage inequity was a top issue for many in PEN Guild. The union’s study of newsroom salaries found wage gaps for journalists of color and women and non-binary employees. The contract will take significant steps toward closing those gaps.
Other achievements in the contract include 5 percent caps on insurance premium increases and coverage of IVF and fertility treatments; 24 weeks of paid parental leave; faster vesting of 401(k) matches; automatic transit stipends; a strong policy regarding the treatment of trans and non-binary employees; and just cause protections for the disciplinary process.
POLITICO journalists unionized in October 2021 with over 80 percent support of the newsroom and were formally recognized by the company shortly thereafter.
PEN Guild is part of the Washington-Baltimore Chapter of NewsGuild-CWA.
Contact PEN Guild at firstname.lastname@example.org.