Our Local, The NewsGuild of New York, has grown during the past two and half years into an active, organizing and fighting union. Our capacity to set industry standards—like higher minimum salaries and ensuring reproductive health care benefits—is rooted in our unity and collective resolve to stand up and fight to improve our workplaces.

As a forward-facing union, we need a governing infrastructure that supports all of our efforts. Towards that end, beginning in the fall of 2021, we invited members from across our Local to participate in a Local Governance Committee tasked with reexamining the effectiveness and clarity of our governance structures and answering the question: How can we reshape our union’s bylaws and governance to better meet the needs of our members?

Guild members from the New York Times, NYT Tech, Consumer Reports, Scholastic, Reuters, Ziff Davis, and Law360 answered the call and, after months of research and debate, presented their recommendations to the Executive Committee. After reviewing the recommendations and providing feedback, the Executive Committee endorses all of the proposed changes to our bylaws.

We urge you to VOTE YES to affirm that all members—including those who are fighting hard for first contracts—will continue to have a say in our democratic process. 

We all know that there are immense challenges facing journalism and media. VOTE YES to continue building a Guild that is ready to face those challenges and safeguard our future.

VOTE YES to support creating an infrastructure that supports our growth and our fight for better newsrooms, better workplaces, and better industry standards.

We’ve seen and experienced what’s possible when we take collective action against the boss, when we work together across our units and our Local. VOTE YES so we can keep expanding what’s possible for all of us. 

 

 

 

Requesting a Replacement Ballot

If you have not received a ballot by August 5, 2022, please contact Global Election Services by phone at: 877-455-
9367 or by email at: helpdesk@voteges.com no later than 12 noon Eastern Time on August 17, 2022. Be prepared to provide your name, Member ID or official/current address, and a callback phone number.  

Your member ID is on your NYGuild membership card. Can't find it or don't have one? Call Guild HQ at 212-575-1580 or contact Tim Try in our membership department.

 

 

2022 NYGuild Bylaws Annotated

PROPOSED NYGUILD BYLAWS - ANNOTATED (219.3 KiB)

 

 

 

The vote will be conducted by mail ballot. Ballots shall be mailed to all eligible voters on July 28, 2022. Ballots shall be due back at 9:00 A.M. on August 24, 2022.  Ballots received after 9:00 A.M. on August 24, 2022 will be invalid and will not be counted.  Hand-delivered ballots will not be accepted.

All members in good standing as of July 18, 2022 shall be eligible to vote. Pursuant to Article XIV, Section 1 of the TNG-CWA Constitution and the historical practices of the Guild, Organizing Members who have completed and submitted to the Guild a membership card by July 18, 2022 shall be eligible to vote. Organizing Members are Guild members employed in shops that have been certified or recognized but are not yet governed by a collective bargaining agreement.

Eligible voters must request a replacement ballot by 12:00 P.M. Eastern Time on August 17, 2022.  Instructions on requesting a replacement ballot and for members not receiving a ballot shall be posted on the union website on July 28, 2022 and shall remain on the union website through August 24, 2022. After July 28, you can contact Global Election Services to update or request a replacement ballot.  (Phone: 1-877-455-9367, E-mail: helpdesk@voteges.com)

In order to pass, the referendum needs simple majority support from voting members. The Guild will inform members of the results immediately after the vote is tallied.

The timeline is as follows:

  • July 28, 2022: Ballots will be mailed to each member’s address on file with the Guild. 
  • August 17, 2022: Replacement ballot request deadline.
  • August 24, 2022: Ballots must be received by Global Election Services by 9 AM (Eastern Time).
  • August 24, 2022: Ballots will be counted.  If ratified, goes into effect.
  • September 1, 2022: If ratified, Article III Unit Council guidelines go into effect. 

Members who have not received a ballot by August 5, 2022 should contact Global Election Services by phone at: 877-455-
9367 or by email at: helpdesk@voteges.com no later than 12 noon Eastern Time on August 17, 2022.
Each member must call personally and provide their name, Member ID and a callback phone number. Do Not call the Union office for ballot requests. Your Member ID number is on your union card. If you cannot locate your Member ID, call the Local at 212-575-1580 or email Tim Try at the Guild's membership office. Do Not call the Local office for ballot requests.

 


Quick Key Guide:
Unit = Us! A group of members who have organized to join our union, working for the same employer
Local/Guild
 = Also Us! The NewsGuild of New York
International/TNG-CWA = Us Too! Our parent union, The NewsGuild-Communications Workers of America
Executive Committee = All of Us! The leadership body of our Local

Is my ballot secret?

The short answer is YES. Please see the notice about ballot secrecy below:

 

TO:  MEMBERS OF THE NEWSGUILD OF NEW YORK

FROM:  THE LOCAL ELECTION COMMITTEE

DATE: AUGUST 2, 2022

REGARDING:  REFERENDUM BALLOT PACKAGES

By now, you should have received a referendum ballot package.  Those packages were mailed out to members on July 28, 2022.  We understand that some members have asked about the privacy sleeve which was part of the ballot package.  The sleeve is precut and not sealable, and people have wondered whether this means that their ballots will not be secret. 

The fact that the sleeve is precut and not sealable does not affect the secrecy of anyone’s ballot.   To appreciate this, we want to explain to you how the ballot count process works.  The ballots are counted by employees of GES, a company the union has hired to mail and count the ballots, under the supervision of the Local Election Committee.  To count the ballots, GES employees first register each envelope to check for eligibility and ensure only one ballot per voter is counted. Then they use automatic envelope openers  to cut open the outer envelopes received from eligible voters.  They then separate the inner sleeves from the outer envelopes, putting them into two separate piles­--a pile of outer envelopes and a pile of inner sleeves.  Once the GES employees have done that separation process,  the outer envelopes with voter identification are removed from the tabulation tables and sealed in containers.  The ballots stay in the sleeves until all ballots have been removed from the outer envelopes.  The ballots are then removed from the sleeves, unfolded and separated into 2 piles - Yes/No.  Because no ballot is counted or even looked at until the outer envelopes are separated from the inner sleeves, it is impossible to determine how any member voted.  Thus, the fact that the inner sleeve is pre-cut and not sealable does not in any way compromise the secrecy of a member’s ballot. 

The U.S. Department of Labor, which oversees union officer elections, allows the type of sleeve used in the referendum ballot package.  The type of inner sleeve used in this referendum  has been used in a number of other union and public office  elections.

Thus, the bottom line is this:  Guild members can have complete confidence that they will be casting a secret ballot, and that no one will be able to know how they voted.  

How do I request a replacement ballot?

If you have not received a ballot by August 5, 2022, please contact Global Election Services by phone at: 877-455-
9367 or by email at: helpdesk@voteges.com no later than 12 noon Eastern Time on August 17, 2022. Be prepared to provide your name, Member ID or official/current address, and a callback phone number.  

I made a mistake on my ballot! What do I do?

If you make a mistake on your ballot, you may use “white-out” or completely cross out the voting error and correctly mark and indicate your corrected choice. DO NOT place your name or initials next to the corrected choice. In addition, you may contact Global Election Services by phone at: 877-455-9367 or by email at: helpdesk@voteges.com no later than 12 noon Eastern Time on August 17, 2022. Each member must call personally and provide their name, Member ID and a callback phone number. If you cannot locate your Member ID, call the Local at 212-575-1580 or email Tim Try at the Guild's membership office. Do Not call the Local office for ballot requests.

I'm on vacation! Can I get my ballot sent to a temporary address?

Yes! Call Global Election Services by phone at: 877-455-9367 or by email at: helpdesk@voteges.com no later than 12 noon Eastern Time on August 17, 2022. You'll need to provide your name, Member ID or official/permanent address, and a callback number. ]

If you don't know your Member ID or what address is on file with the Guild, you can call the Local at 212-575-1580 or email Tim Try at the Guild's membership office. Do Not call the Local office for ballot requests.

Why did we revisit our existing bylaws?
  • Orient our bylaws to more clearly support the building of rank-and-file power
  • Establish roles and responsibilities for elected officers, unit councils and individual members, all of which will ensure that we are best able to organize and exercise our power, as a Local and as individual units
  • Create more flexibility and allow us to operate more efficiently at our current scale
  • Implement changes mandated by our parent union,TNG-CWA
What are the overarching goals of these changes?
  • Memorializing past practices so everyone eligible can have a voice in our union 
    • Making our bylaws in compliance with TNG-CWA, by updating the language to reflect  our long-standing practice that members of units who have organized but who do not yet have a ratified first contract participate in our union democracy. 
  • Updating size and structures of our leadership bodies 
    • Create minimum guidelines for unit councils
    • Flexibility in elections of non-officer leadership positions 
    • Changes to keep the Executive Committee to a manageable size, while ensuring all shops are represented
  • Improve transparency and engagement in our leadership structures
    • Clearly defined roles and expectations for officers and leaders at all levels (local-wide, unit-wide) 
    • Foster leadership participation on unit councils and executive committee
Who is eligible to vote on this referendum?

Guild members who have signed a card and are currently working in a certified bargaining unit as of July 18, 2022, are eligible to vote. This simply means that you have signed a membership card, are paid up on your dues (if you have a contract), and are currently working in a NYGuild-represented unit. As per the Rules for the 2022 Bylaws Referendum if you’re not yet paying dues because you’re still negotiating your first contract, as long as you meet the other two criteria, you’re eligible to vote.

Based upon our historical practice, members in units who are certified but not yet paying dues (also known as Organizing Members) are eligible to participate in Local elections, referendum and other democratic processes of our union. This practice comes from the belief that once a unit is certified and elects a unit council, they fully take on being a Guild shop and with that the responsibilities and ownership of contributing to our Local. 

Article XIV Section 1(c) of the TNG Constitution states "the rights, if any, of Organizing Members with regard to Local elections, governance and activities shall be granted in accordance with historical practices and Local bylaws." This referendum in part memorializes the current right of Organizing Members to participate in our union democracy.

 

Which changes are mandated by our parent union?
  • Memorializing that members of new units (aka Organizing Members) currently have the right to participate in our union democracy, including voting in Local elections and referendums 
  • Clear anti-discrimination language
  • Quarterly Local-wide membership meetings
What changes are we proposing to the structure of the unit councils?
  • Clearly defining the role of unit councils and unit officers, to ensure we are best able to organize members and exercise the power of our units
  • Allowing more flexibility to expand and adjust unit council to reflect changes in the unit's work and demographics.
  • Addressing concerns that some unit councils do not have enough members to represent their unit by establishing a minimum unit council size, based on a ratio. 
  • The number of seats recommended is a floor, not a maximum which means that unit councils can grow along with the unit itself
What changes are we proposing for officers and the Executive Committee?
  • Making Treasurer a full-time role, rather than part-time, ensuring we can effectively manage the finances of our growing Local
  • Making a new Local-wide Secretary position to handle internal communications
  • Reducing the number of "at large" elected Vice Chairs on the Executive Committee, making the number of committee members manageable as more new units organize
  • Allowing Unit Vice Chairs to attend and vote at Executive Committee meetings in the absence of the Unit Chair, in order to bolster participation and ensure all shops are represented
What changes are we proposing to elections?

Streamlining the process for unit council elections, allowing for votes by email or in person. In smaller shops, allowing unit officer elections to be conducted by secret ballot run by the Local, rather than by costly contract with a third party, provided no candidate objects

What member responsibilities are defined in the changes?
  • Adding strong anti-discrimination language that makes clear that any form of discrimination by one member against another will not be tolerated
  • Prohibiting members from divulging the confidential business of Local to non-members, i.e. management, while protecting the rights of members to free speech and dissent
What is the timing of this referendum?

The vote will be conducted by mail ballot. Ballots will be mailed to all eligible members on July 28, 2022. Ballots must be returned by 9 a.m. August 24, 2022. This allows ample time for all members to ask questions to the Executive Committee and Unit Council members before voting.

If you do not receive your ballot or need a replacement, you may contact Global Election Services (Phone: 1-877-455-9367, E-mail: helpdesk@voteges.com) after July 28. Replacement ballots must be requested by August 17, 2022. In order to pass, the referendum needs simple majority support from voting members. The Guild will inform members of the results immediately after the vote is tallied.

When do these changes go into effect?

If passed, some changes will be in effect upon ratification, some on September 1, 2022 for the upcoming 2022 Unit Council and Executive Committee elections. Minimums for the size of Unit Councils go into effect for the 2025 elections.

What will happen if the referendum does not pass?

If this referendum vote does not pass, the bylaw changes will not go into effect. Which means that in January 2023 Organizing Members will lose their right to participate in our Local's democratic processes, we will not have full-time Treasurer to manage our finances, the clarifying guidelines for unit and local governing structures will not go into effect, and some aspects of our bylaws will not be in compliance with the TNG-CWA Constitution. 

Who should I reach out to if I have a question?

 

 

2022 NYGuild Bylaw Referendum Rules

Rules for the referendum. (86.5 KiB)

RULES FOR THE 2022 BYLAWS REFERENDUM
OF THE NEWSGUILD OF NEW YORK, LOCAL 31003, CWA, AFL-CIO

Pursuant to Article V, Section 5 of the Bylaws of the NewsGuild of New York, Local 31003, CWA, AFL-CIO (the “Guild”), the Local Election Committee adopts the following rules for the 2022 bylaws referendum:

Article I. Schedule

  1. The referendum shall be conducted by mail ballot.
  2. The proposed amendments shall be mailed to the membership along with the ballot.
  3. Ballots shall be mailed to all eligible voters (as defined by Article III of these Rules) on July 28, 2022.
  4. Eligible voters must request a replacement ballot by 12:00 P.M. Eastern Time on August 17, 2022. (All times in these Rules are in Eastern Time.) Instructions on requesting a replacement ballot and for members not receiving a ballot shall be posted on the union website on July 28, 2022 and shall remain on the union website through August 24, 2022.
  5. Ballots shall be due at 9:00 A.M. on August 24, 2022. Ballots received after 9:00 A.M. on August 24, 2022 will be invalid and will not be counted. Hand-delivered ballots will not be accepted.
  6. Ballots shall be counted on August 24, 2022.

 

Article II. Ballot Language

“Do you approve of the changes to the Bylaws of the NewsGuild of New York as laid out in the in the 4-page document enclosed in your ballot package as recommended by the NewsGuild of New York Executive Committee?

YES ____

NO ____

For more information regarding these changes, please go to: https://www.nyguild.org/guild-strong.”

 

Article III. Eligibility

  1. All members in good standing as of July 18, 2022 shall be eligible to vote.
  2. Pursuant to Article XIV, Section 1 of the NewsGuild-CWA Constitution and the historical practices of the Guild, Organizing Members who have completed and submitted to the Guild a membership card by July 18, 2022 shall be eligible to vote. Organizing Members are Guild members employed in shops that have been certified or recognized but are not yet governed by a collective bargaining agreement.

 

Article IV. Eligibility Disputes

The Local Election Committee shall determine all voter eligibility disputes.

 

Article V. Voting Instructions

  1. Write nothing on the ballot other than the voting mark.
  2. Ballots with any identifying information on them (including but not limited to the person’s name or initials) will be voided.
  3. Other voting instructions approved by the Local Election Committee will be include with the ballot. Ballots must be mailed and marked in conformity with the voting instructions accompanying the ballot.

 

Article VI. Vote Count

Votes will be counted under the supervision of the Local Election Committee by Global Election Services. The election shall be decided by a plurality of valid ballots cast. The Local Election Committee shall, in writing, certify the referendum results and immediately send the results and certification to the Local Secretary-Treasurer.

 

Article VII. Referendum Protests

  1. Pre-Referendum Protests. Any member wishing to file a pre-referendum protest must submit it in writing to the Local Election Committee by no later than midnight, August 23, 2022. Protests must be submitted via e-mail to: hkolko@cwsny.com and mshaw@cwsny.com. The protestor must specify the basis of the protest. The Local Election Committee has the discretion to defer rulings on pre-referendum protests until after all ballots have been counted.
  2.  Post-Referendum Protests. Any member wishing to file a post-referendum protest must submit it in writing to the Local Election Committee by no later than midnight, September 7, 2022. Protests must be submitted via e-mail to: hkolko@cwsny.com and mshaw@cwsny.com. Appeals from decisions of the Local Election Committee on post-referendum protests shall be made to the Local Executive Committee, in writing, by no later than midnight, September 17, 2022. Such appeals must be submitted via e-mail to: assistant@nyguild.org, claire@nyguild.org, hkolko@cwsny.com, and mshaw@cwsny.com.

 

Article VIII. Notification of Membership

The Guild shall notify the membership of the results of the referendum in its newsletter and on its website.

 

Article IX. Preservation of Records

The Guild shall preserve records of the referendum for one year after the Guild notifies the membership of the results of the referendum pursuant to Article VIII.

 

Article X. Posting of Rules

The Guild shall post these rules on its website by no later than midnight, July 26, 2022.