The New Republic Ratifies Industry-Leading First Contract


For Immediate Release | December 23, 2019
Media Inquiries: Josh Austin, | 484-269-0158

The New Republic Ratifies Industry-Leading First Contract
After unionizing in the wake of the #MeToo movement, New Republic Guild members secure contract with strong harassment and diversity protections

New York, NY — NewsGuild members at The New Republic unanimously ratified their first contract, winning ambitious diversity language, a progressive sexual harassment policy written by members, industry-leading intellectual property and privacy rights, and just cause provisions. 

After unionizing in April 2018 with the NewsGuild of New York in the wake of the #MeToo Movement, Guild members at the publication cited and prioritized transparency, safety, and diversity in the newsroom as top concerns ahead of contract negotiations. Members researched best practices for supporting those who experience harassment and for recruiting a more diverse staff and used that research to inform contract proposals.

The four-year agreement includes:

  • Representational rights for those who report sexual harassment, ensuring that union members have the right to consult with and be accompanied by Guild representatives when reporting claims of harassment. The contract also guarantees that as part of the legally-mandated annual anti-harassment training, Guild members must be involved in the development of the training. 
  • A commitment to increase hiring and promotion of underrepresented groups. To hold the company accountable, the company will work alongside members to develop an annual survey that assesses diversity statistics and will participate in the ASNE Newsroom Employment Diversity Survey. 
  • Paid family leave for up to five months for employees with a year or more of service.
  • Protections and rights for LGBTQIA+ Guild members. Management agreed to provide gender-neutral bathrooms on site, honor the pronouns and chosen names of staff in the workplace and in the publication, and host a company-wide training to help create a safe and inclusive work environment for LGBTQIA+ employees.
  • Privacy and ownership of social media. The contract ensures that all personal social media accounts are owned solely by the staffer, and cannot be claimed by the employer, establishing a new industry practice. 
  • A 12 percent wage increase across the life of the contract for all members, and a 12 percent increase upon ratification for editorial fellows. Members also achieved a robust health benefits package that will result in significant cost savings, with employee premium contributions cut by up to 50 percent. 
  • Support for a healthy work-life balance was important to members, including an increase to four weeks vacation, additional personal days, creative leave, and school leave, which specifically permits parents to take time off to attend school functions and meetings. 

“This contract solidifies an important goal behind why we organized: To protect and live the values that The New Republic has espoused in its pages for over 100 years,” said Alex Shephard, Unit Chair. “The strength of our union is reflected in this contract, and I’m proud to have stood alongside fellow Guild members in crafting an agreement that fosters an environment of collaboration, transparency, growth, and sustainability.” 

“With this contract, our members at The New Republic are lifting standards in the industry and demonstrating the kinds of rights and protections that all media workers deserve,” said Susan DeCarava, President-Elect of The NewsGuild of New York. “A strong contract bolsters a strong publication. This agreement will inspire and empower other workers in our industry to organize for a seat at the table to secure life-changing improvements to their working conditions.” 

NewsGuild local representative Bettina Damiani served as the union’s lead negotiator alongside The New Republic’s bargaining committee.


About the NewsGuild of New York 
The NewsGuild, Local 31003 of the Communications Workers of America is a labor union representing 3,500 media professionals and other employees at New York area news organizations, including The New York Times, Thomson Reuters, BuzzFeed News, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, The Nation, The New Republic and The Daily Beast.

Go back

News Archive

Share this story