From the Daily News | Thomson Reuters’ union journalists land new contract after three-year fight
The following was originally published on The Daily News' website:
After a tough, three-year battle, NewsGuild of New York journalists at Thomson Reuters ratified a new contract Thursday evening.
The deal will remain in effect through December 2020, and it covers roughly 400 reporters, producers and other staffers, the Guild said.
Under its terms, Thomson Reuters unionized employees will receive a salary increase of 2.25% effective Jan. 1.
Additionally, members will receive a 2% general wage increase in each subsequent year of the contract, along with the company's annual distribution of the company’s discretionary increases.
The final figures were much higher than management’s initial offer of a 0% raise, the Guild noted. But it took three years of tough negotiating to get there.
“Though this was a very difficult process, I’m pleased with the end result. We were able to move management from no guaranteed wage increases to three years of guaranteed wage increases,” said Dan Grebler, Reuters desk editor and the Guild unit chair.
“We insisted throughout this fight that ‘we’re worth more’ and this contract reflects management’s recognition of that,” he said.
The Guild was able to expand and strengthen its parental leave package as well — bumping it up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave compared to six weeks in the previous contract. The deal also preserves the union’s existing health care plan.
Thomson Reuters also agreed to compensate Guild members with extra pay for shifts and hours beyond the normal work week including being on standby, as well as for overnight and weekend shifts, the union said.
“Our members have fought very hard, and participated in countless actions, for a contract that they deserved three years ago,” said NewsGuild of New York President Grant Glickson.
“Let this agreement be an example of what happens when media professionals come together to fight for a necessary contract,” he added.
The Guild scored another contract deal a week earlier at The New York Times, its biggest shop with 1,100 union journalists.
Guild members at The Times’ voted Dec. 6 to ratify the latest terms, which run through March 30, 2021.
The Times contract had expired in March 2016 — and negotiations spanned a bitter summer of buyouts and restructuring that prompted layoffs and a public pushback from Times’ staffers and the union.
The Guild called for a newsroom walkout on June 29, which brought the paper’s own labor strife into the headlines.
But under the terms of the contract ratified Dec. 6, Guild employees will get a 2.5% signing bonus Jan. 1, 2018 and again that March 31. That’s in addition to 2% increases in 2019 and 2020.
The Guild also secured — for the first time — guaranteed medical coverage for up to one year for any member who is laid off. The Times also agreed to provide short- and long-term disability plans for members who need to take medical leave.
The Guild also added journalists in the video and audio departments to its jurisdiction.
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