MOMENTOUS BARGAINING NEWS
History was made last night. A first-ever tentative contract agreement was reached between the LA Times Guild and the Los Angeles Times.
The proposed three-year deal includes RAISES each year – at least 5% the first year for many newsroom (at this point only the newsroom is organized, but I have no doubt other departments will soon join!!!) employees, and 2.5% in the second and third years.
The agreement also includes job protections, parental leave, severance pay, rights for journalists who want to pursue book deals, and a commitment from managers to increase newsroom diversity.
I had the privilege of visiting the LA Times bargaining committee in August. I say “privilege” because this group and their colleagues had the courage and determination to push for a union in a place that has been anti-union throughout its 138-year history. Their enthusiasm, persistence and steadfast belief in their value has inspired organizing campaigns at newspaper companies throughout the country, adding thousands of new union members at a time of tremendous challenge AND OPPORTUNITY for the industry. It has been amazing to behold. In fact, many of you met the cofounder of that LA initiative last week when Jon Schleuss visited The Inquirer. He is running for president of The NewsGuild-CWA, challenging incumbent Bernie Lunzer. (Voting will be held at 801, SPP and Cherry Hill next month. Details to come.)
As I head into Day 2 of our own bargaining today with our resolute committee, I wanted to make sure you were aware of this great news. Pass along your congratulations to @latguild on Twitter and be encouraged and reminded by what the power of unity can achieve.
I look forward to announcing raises at The Inquirer when our bargaining concludes. It no doubt will take months, but we’re worth it, right? Just ask the folks in L.A.