Ever since we ratified a new contract in July, people have approached me to say it must be nice to have a break until negotiations start again next year.
I understand that. Fighting for a fair contract remains a central part of what The Guild does.
But it is not the only thing we do. The reality is that there is much more to the business of The Guild, and its officers and local staff representative have been busy in recent months.
Among other things:
- We negotiated a new parking policy with The News. What probably should have been a fairly easy affair, hit some bumps at the start but ended smoothly after The News and Guild clarified a handful of issues that concerned members.
- We worked out the final details with management to put in place a cellphone stipend in the newsroom. It took longer than we would have liked but, in the end, both the stipend amount and its distribution in the newsroom worked out well.
- We have prepared to meet with management about the Classified Advertising Department. The Guild and The News agreed in contract talks to attempt to find efficiencies and to increase revenue. The News had started bargaining in the most recent negotiations with a proposal to outsource the department.
- We negotiated two new agreements with The News for sports reporters to appear on television and radio sports shows.
- We have had and continue to have discussions with management on a handful of other issues, including cafeteria hours, new digital editing jobs, weekend shifts in the newsroom, and several jurisdictional issues in the newsroom.
- We sent three delegates to Denver in early October for a Guild multi-district conference. This is our union. We need to take part in the decisions and operations. We need to be aware of the larger issues impacting other newspapers and labor unions.
Just a handful of people do this work. We can always use more help, especially as we prepare to embark on contract talks again next year.
This union is only as strong as your willingness to participate. Think about giving back in some way to the organization that gives you a voice in the workplace, and that protects the contractual provisions and benefits past Guild members fought for decades to win.
— Henry Davis