Jill Bleed, an AP breaking news staffer in Arkansas, represented the News Media Guild last weekend at a leadership training program attended by about two dozen union members.
The NewsGuild sponsored the training for new local officers, held at The Maritime Institute in Linthicum Heights, Md.
Guild representatives from The New York Times, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Minneapolis Star-Tribune and other newspapers attended the seminar, along with leaders from units representing court interpreters, nonprofits and other labor unions.
“It was incredibly helpful and inspiring to meet with other union leaders, both in journalism and in other industries,” said Bleed, the News Media Guild’s 5th vice president.
The NewsGuild has more than 20,000 members in 47 U.S. units and 21 Canadian units.
The seminar focused on building enthusiasm and support among each local’s membership, as well as technical training on contract negotiation, the grievance procedure and financial management.
“So many of us are facing similar issues within the workplace,” Bleed said. “It helped us all to share strategies and realize that we have a very large network of support within The NewsGuild.”
Marian Needham, executive vice president of The NewsGuild, stressed the importance of a strong steward system, active committees, regular meetings and social events for each local.
“The healthiest and most vibrant locals are the ones that employ this kind of leadership,” she said.