Category Archives: membership

Union presidents gather at CWA meeting ahead of Supreme Court ruling

Presidents representing locals within the Communications Workers of America gathered in Washington this week ahead of an expected U.S. Supreme Court decision that could drastically change how union fees are collected in public-sector unions.

President Jill Bleed attended the one-day meeting to represent the News Media Guild.

CWA President Chris Shelton told the nearly 300 delegates at the CWA presidents’ meeting that unions must look beyond members’ individual needs to the broader issue of keeping unions alive. CWA has made an effort to sign up new members as part of an initiative called CWA Strong in anticipation of the Janus court decision, which deals with whether a non-member in a public sector union must pay agency fees.

CWA represents hundreds of thousands of public- and private-sector workers in the media, telecommunications, airline, information technology and other industries. Shelton says that the union has added more than 7,300 new members in the public-sector unit as part of CWA Strong since 2016.

In New Jersey, public-sector locals are at record membership levels, while membership in right-to-work states is stable or growing, Shelton said.

If the high court rules against the unions, CWA is expected to lose revenue from about 25,000 agency fee payers _ or about $6.5 million, according to CWA Secretary/Treasurer Sara Steffens. The union has committed to cutting its budget (excluding staff and salaries) but Steffens said a longer-term fix is needed.

“We can’t cut our way out of this problem,” she said.

To stay viable, the union must have strong stewards, active and well-run locals, and keep in contact with current and future members, Steffens said.

The News Media Guild, funded in part by a CWA grant, has added 40 new members in the past year under the CWA Strong initiative.

 

CWA provides access to free training for Guild members

Would you like to learn more about creating iPhone videos or using Photoshop on the go? Could you use some stronger database skills to deepen your journalism? Are you thinking about building your own website to showcase your work, but not sure where to start?

News Media Guild members are eligible for free training through popular online course provider Lynda.com.

Through our parent union, the Communication Workers of America, News Media Guild members are eligible for free training on Lynda.com.

Through our parent union, the Communication Workers of America, News Media Guild members can get free training on Lynda.com.

From accounting to podcasting to web design, Lynda.com offers thousands of video-based online courses that can help Guild members develop career skills, brush up on personal interests or even just learn how to get the most out of the gadgets you’ve accumulated or apps you’ve downloaded.

Signing up takes just a few clicks, and the courses can be completed at any time.  Courses range from short how-tos for using mobile apps (generally about 20 minutes) to more advanced technical skills that can feature 10 hours or more of instruction.

To open a Lynda.com account as a Guild member, visit the CWA website at www.cwa-union.org and click on the “For Members” tab, which will show a menu of items including “Benefits, Scholarships and Training.” In the “Training” section on the page that link leads to, click on CWA NETT, and then click on “Resources” on the top of the next page.

Typically, using Lynda.com starts at $240 per year, so this free subscription is a significant benefit for Guild members.

CWA NETT also offers members more advanced photography courses through KelbyOne.com.

The Guild’s Tech Unit members should also take a look at the courses offered through CWA’s alliance with APT College, also reachable through the CWA NETT link.