Two-Year Fight Ends in Big Victory for NewsGuild of New York Members
For Immediate Release: April 23, 2019
Contact: Josh Austin, firstname.lastname@example.org | (484) 269-0158
New York, NY — After a two-year battle with the management of publications formerly owned by Time Inc. People, TIME, Fortune, Money and Sports Illustrated, 26 employees have finally received the significant wage increases and back pay owed to them. These employees are members of The NewsGuild of New York. The NewsGuild-CWA is the largest union for media professionals in the country, representing 24,000 members across the country, including The New York Times, The L.A. Times, the New Yorker, Thomson Reuters, The Nation, The New Republic and The Daily Beast.
The grievance started with Time Inc. and was settled under Meredith Corporation after Meredith purchased the company and its assets in 2017. The agreement resulted in an approximate $308,000 settlement for the impacted Guild members. The union was able to achieve an approximate $230,000 in owed back pay and $78,000 in wage increases.
“Time Inc. management fought us for months claiming our grievance was a philosophical difference of opinion, not a mathematical one. But the union persevered,” said Daniel Neuburger, Unit Chair. “Time Inc. rewarded several valued employees with promotions and merit raises, then stripped back thousands of dollars out of their pockets—by carving contractual raises out of merit raises retroactively, a year later.”
An investigation by Guild leadership revealed that Time Inc. improperly awarded merit increases at the expense of wages as agreed upon in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, impacting subsequent guaranteed wage increases. Instead of giving union members the expected increases due to them, some members were instead told that the merit increase would count toward the mandated guaranteed wage increase. This occurred on the heels of a battle at the National Labor Relations Board between the union and management.
“Meredith Corporation heard our concerns and worked with the union,” said Neuburger. “Reason prevailed and we’ve resolved this amicably, returning hundreds of thousands of dollars to hard working journalists.”
"When raises finally came and mine wasn’t what I expected or what the company agreed to in our contract, it was extremely frustrating.” said Guild member and People Senior Writer Emily Strohm. “With the help of the Guild, I along with my colleagues were able to stand together to hold management accountable and resolve the problem.”
“When I reached out to the Guild about this issue, I was surprised to learn that I was not the only employee impacted,” said member Taylor Tepper, a former staff writer at Money Magazine. “If it wasn’t for the Guild’s tenacity 26 dedicated professionals would have lost the hard-earned raises we fought for. Workers in our industry deserve union protection, and we’re fortunate that the Guild has our backs.”
NewsGuild of New York President Grant Glickson said, “By ignoring the mutually agreed upon contract and, essentially, stealing the wages of Guild members who continue to build the brands of these treasured publications, Time Inc. acted in bad faith and failed not only to acknowledge our agreement, but blatantly ignored the hard work of these journalists. This incredible win is a testament to the value of union representation. I encourage all Guild members, and all union members across the country, to read their union contracts and make sure they are getting paid what their unions bargained on their behalf.”
About the NewsGuild of New York
The NewsGuild of New York, Local 31003 of the Communications Workers of America, is a labor union representing nearly 3,000 media professionals and other employees at New York area news organizations, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Thomson Reuters, The Nation, The Daily Beast and Mashable.
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