The NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia

Inquirer pay study 2020

As we have previously announced, the Guild has had a consultant conducting a pay study since first identifying a couple years ago a serious issue of inequity in the newsroom based on gender and race. The most recent evaluation also looked at pay patterns in our other Guild departments: advertising/marketing, circulation, and finance, although the opportunities for pay increases (not counting commissions that advertising reps get based on their sales) there beyond the minimums prescribed by the contract historically have not been a reality. Only in the newsroom are bonuses and merit raises truly available and by no means are they distributed to a vast number of employees there.

Because of the difference in the compensation mechanics in each department where there are Guild members, the current study shows the greatest amount of pay variation in the newsroom. As you will see in the attached summaries, the findings are appalling.

For instance, of 24 people who received merit raises, just 3 were people of color. Of 14 new hires since March 2019, just 6 were people of color.  As for salaries, at the Inquirer, the average salary of females of color are nearly $10,000 less than the total average of all newsroom employees.  Appalling. 

For newsroom employees who predate the merger of the Inquirer and Daily News newsrooms, some of the disparity stems from the different pay scales each had. That is no excuse in the present day. The Company has had YEARS to fix that gulf and should have as soon as we became one newsroom and were urged to act as one.

Our study shows no merit increases evident in advertising/marketing, finance, or circulation. That’s simply a disgrace. How does that motivate employees? Where’s the sense of gratitude by the Company for a job well done? Or are employees simply supposed to be grateful for their paycheck?

Here’s another disgrace: In a city where the population is about 44% Black, we have ZERO people of color in outside sales. One person of color is a part-time inside sales rep and one person of color is a classified inside sales supervisor. Three people of color are in support roles.

As the Company embarks on study groups, surveys, and Zoom meetings to reckon with its systemic racism, it needs to do nothing more than look at our pay study results and promptly make the payroll adjustments long overdue, including instituting true opportunities for raises in circulation, finance, and advertising/marketing. We will be sharing our study results with the publisher. She has announced the Company is embarking on its own pay study. We assert that should not delay the start of fixing the disparities our consultant has identified.

As always, don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.

In solidarity,

Diane and Bill