The NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia


March 22, 2021billrossInquirer

Dear Guild Members: 

We start this first full week of spring with something that should delight you: The 3% pay raise for full-time Guild members (prorated for part-timers) negotiated in the current contract is supposed to make its first appearance in this week’s paycheck.

So, please make sure you check that it, indeed, has shown up! (Do that FRIDAY! All pay stubs can be found on Dayforce at

For those of you who have been at The Inquirer for a number of years, you are painfully aware this raise has been a looooooooong time coming. Not counting the one-time payment and signing bonus that accompanied the first year of this three-year contract we’re currently working under, this is the first raise in 10 or more years. It is so very overdue.

Next March comes another raise as part of this contract: That one is 2%.

To those of you who are more recent hires and are not yet at the top of the pay scale, as you know, you get raises each year on the anniversary of your hire date. You will continue to receive those raises IN ADDITION to these contract increases. So, yes, some of you will get at least two pay raises this year. (The Company is free to give you more.)

Our contract also provides for profit-sharing. As you may recall, the publisher has said that the sale of the printing plant would return The Inquirer to profitability. So, we fully expect that 2021 will show a profit, which would mean you all would receive a profit-sharing check around April 2022. 

This is all promising news. But none of this will be truly satisfying UNTIL THE COMPANY ENDS THE PAY INEQUITY THAT EXISTS AMONG GUILD MEMBERS.

As you know, an outside firm hired by the Company has found pay inequity at The Inquirer which, according to the Company, involves about 70 employees and would take about $300,000 to address. We, however, do not know how many of those 70 are Guild members.

The Guild awaits the Company sharing that information with us, so we can compare it to our own findings. We sure would have welcomed those pay adjustments being made by now so that this week’s 3% raise could be on top of that money.

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: We succeeded at getting the raises in this contract because of all of YOU! YOU, who showed unity in denouncing the thousands of days that had passed since the Company had last given across-the-board raises to Guild members. YOU, who displayed posters in your cubicles, and signed a petition, and joined sidewalk demonstrations.

We must now show that same solidarity in fighting for the equitable pay of all Guild members. The Company insists there is no discrimination behind the inequitable pay practices that have gone on here for years. However, Guild studies have most definitely shown that in many instances of pay disparity, the person on the short end is either Black, brown or Asian. But there are white males and females in that mix, too.

Something else that the Guild has been pushing for and still awaits is more comprehensive and impactful Diversity, Equity and Inclusion language in our contract. Please know that getting that language was a priority during bargaining for our current contract. In fact, it dominated the discussions. As a member of the Bargaining Committee, Jonathan Lai led that effort, preparing pages of proposals to ensure processes and commitments were followed that would hold The Inquirer accountable to creating and maintaining a diverse workforce.

Instead, the Company came to the table with a one-sentence proposal and, in the end, agreed to little more than that. It had a chance to show leadership on this effort. It didn’t. 

With pay raises finally secured and the coronavirus just days from forcing the evacuation of 801 Market, we agreed to settle the contract without the diversity language the Guild was pushing for.

We intend to call on the Company to return to negotiations to finish that work. We are not content to have the Company have a “policy” on DEI. We want such commitments included in the contract, where they will live on long after publishers, HR directors, and other executives are long gone from the Company.

So, enjoy your raises [now is a great time to start that contribution to the 401(k), or, if you are already participating, increase that contribution!], but please remember there are many among us who are not being paid equitably, and THAT MUST CHANGE NOW!

Your main Guild contract can be found here. Please bookmark it as it includes a lot of very important information relevant to your life, including vacation and sick time, and the pay scales:

The three-year agreement we reached last March that details the raises and a few other things can be found here: 

Lastly, my deep appreciation to my dogged, super-smart partners on the Bargaining Committee — Jonathan Lai, Amy Rosenberg and Bill Ross — and to the rest of the Executive Board for all the input and support they provided to that process: Melanie Burney, Eric Churn, Cynthia Henry, Carl Meline, Anna Orso and Donna Stokes.

Stay safe, wear a mask, and advocate for each other.

In solidarity,