The NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia


Dear Guild Members:

We are delighted (and relieved) that the NewsGuild-CWA Contracts Committee in Washington, D.C., this morning “enthusiastically” approved our contract tentative agreement, allowing us to move forward to the ratification vote.

With that, we are cleared to provide some of the highlights of this tentative agreement.

Before we get to that, please plan to attend a Zoom General Membership meeting at noon Wednesday, Aug. 30, to discuss the contract in detail and answer any questions you might have. ZOOM LINK WILL BE SENT NEXT WEEK.

You will have an opportunity to electronically vote on the agreement on Thursday, Aug. 31, from noon to 4 p.m.

As for some of the details:

The length of the contract: 3 years, to take effect in early September. (Exact date TBD)

The economics: First, the Bargaining Committee’s goal was to address pay disparity that has been too long ignored. So, we crafted an agreement that distributes money in a way that lifts the pay groups that have been lagging behind while still rewarding those on the higher end of the scale. As such:

YEAR 1: Within 30 days of ratification, each employee will receive a one-time, lump-sum payment in an amount equal to 6% of employees’ regular rate of pay, distributed equally. For full-timers, that amounts to about $4,676; for part-time employees, who will receive a pro-rated amount, that comes to about $1,402. (WE WILL EXPLAIN HOW THOSE FIGURES WERE ARRIVED AT AT THE MEETING.)


Employees who earn less than $80,000, will receive a $4.3% raise.

Employees who earn between $80,000 and $100,000 will receive a 4% raise.

Employees who earn more than $100,000 will receive a 3% raise.


Employees who earn less than $80,000, will receive a $4.3% raise.

Employees who earn between $80,000 and $100,000 will receive a 4% raise.

Employees who earn more than $100,000 will receive a 3% raise.

Additional pay steps:

This contract adds 2 additional pay steps for 3 categories of workers, to increase the earning potential for employees who have remained at the top of their pay scales in many cases for years and years:

Editorial Assistants

Accounting Clerks


These additional steps combined with the annual raises in the contract will get these people substantially closer to livable wages.

Home Office Expense Payments:

On or before March 30 of every year of the contract, the Company will pay each full-time and part-time Guild employee $500.

401(k) Change:

Employees will now be eligible for the employer match after 6 months, rather than after one year.

Health Care:

Employee contributions will remain at $20 a week for single coverage and $50 a week for other than single coverage for the life of the contract.

Parental Leave:

Employees will be offered up to 15 weeks of paid parental leave following the birth of a child or the placement of an adopted child under 18. Such employees will also receive 5 additional paid “transition days” to be used within the first six months of returning to work.

So, in essence, 16 paid weeks of parental leave is available under this contract, up from the current 6 weeks. This applies to the birthing parent and/or the non-birthing parent.

Parental leave can actually be extended even longer by stacking vacation, personal and sick leave. More on that at the meeting.

Sick Leave:

All employees will be entitled to 8 100% paid sick days a year, up from the current 6. Gone is the process for gaining additional sick leave as you spend more time with the company. Instead, all employees immediately will receive 19 weeks of sick leave at 65% pay, available for use after the 8 fully paid sick days are used. In the past, an employee would need to be with the company 10 years before having that amount of sick leave.

For those veteran employees who currently have more than 19 weeks, you will be grandfathered at your current sick leave amount.


This contract changes which holiday days will qualify for double pay. In the past, that would be the day the Company observed as the holiday. The days that will now qualify for double time pay are the actual holiday, as observed by the U.S. or world. For instance, in the past, if the Company declared Dec. 26 as the Christmas holiday because Dec. 25 fell on a Sunday, people who worked Dec. 25 got straight pay, even though that is the day the world acknowledges as Christmas. Now, if you work on Dec. 25, you will qualify for double pay. Not if you work on Dec. 26.

Mileage reimbursement:

Employees will now receive the IRS mileage reimbursement rate, a significant improvement.


There are many components to the DEI article in this contract, comprising more than a page. Perhaps the most substantial addition is codifying in the contract the Company’s policy to utilize a diverse slate approach to hiring and promotions.

Also, the Company and the Guild will continue to meet through a joint committee on a quarterly basis to discuss how best to advance the Company’s diversity and inclusion efforts. Each side will choose up to 4 members and both sides will strive to rotate committee membership when possible to maximize opportunity for participation.


As we mentioned from the start, the Company wanted an opportunity in the newsroom to on occasion allow non-Guild members to do Guild work. This contract provides some flexibility in that regard with significant protections for Guild members.

The contract allows the Company to use 12 exempts in Year 1, 14 exempts in Year 2 and 16 exempts in Year 3 to perform work normally done by a Guild member.

Such work may not exceed 60 days and can never:

1) directly result in the layoff of a bargaining unit member

2) directly result in the elimination of a bargaining unit position

3) directly result in the reduction of a bargaining unit employee’s hours

4) directly result in the need to transfer a bargaining unit employee to another position

5) directly prevent the hiring of a full-time bargaining unit employee

6) regularly limit a bargaining unit employee’s opportunity for professional growth.

Please carefully review these contract changes. In the coming days you will receive a full copy of the tentative agreement so you can see each and every change and the exact language. This was just intended to give you a quick understanding of the many gains.

Please plan to attend the General Membership meeting Wednesday so you can be fully informed about the ratification vote.

It has been an honor representing you all at the bargaining table.

In solidarity,

Your Bargaining Committee,

Diane Mastrull

Jonathan Lai

Amy S. Rosenberg

Bill Ross