Tag Archives: Mobilizing

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.


We keep AP working

BARGAINING: Guild says managers supervising fewer than three people should be in unit

The News Media Guild and Associated Press continued talks Wednesday on contract negotiations, with the Guild telling AP that some managers who supervise fewer than three people should be part of the bargaining unit.

Both sides also met Tuesday and held off-the-records talks about job security. AP has proposed significant changes to the current job security language, while the Guild is calling for more training in the event of a layoff.

The Guild and AP will meet again Thursday to discuss job security, news associates and AP’s proposed social media and ethics policy.

Representing the Guild on Wednesday were: Jill Bleed of Little Rock, Vin Cherwoo of New York Sports, technician Dave Herron of Seattle and Guild administrator Kevin Keane.

Representing the AP on Wednesday were: attorney Steve Macri; Keisa Caesar, human resources generalist and project manager; and Jean Maye, human resources director.

Also Tuesday, Guild members in Washington surprised AP management and others who were attending a dinner that coincided with the ASNE-APME-APPM conference. The Guild members handed out leaflets and held signs outside of the restaurant where the dinner was taking place. See more on the Guild’s website here.

DC Mob : We keep AP Working

Washington NMG members surprise AP managers outside restaurant


By Michele Salcedo

WASHINGTON — Never underestimate the element of surprise.

A small but vocal group of News Media Guild members from The Associated Press Washington Bureau were on hand Tuesday evening to greet AP management and Guild colleagues attending a dinner that AP organized to coincide with the ASNE-APME-APPM conference in Washington.

The Guild group, holding up signs and handing out leaflets, met Executive Editor and Senior Vice President Sally Buzbee, as well as Managing Editor Brian Carovillano and Deputy Managing Editors David Scott and Sarah Nordgren as they approached the Lebanese Taverna restaurant. Carovillano, Scott and Nordgren have attended some of the negotiations.

“We’re so surprised to see you here,” said Ken Guggenheim, a Washington bureau news editor.

As the time for the dinner approached, the group of seven chanted: “Who are we? We are AP! What do we want? A fair contract!” one of several in their battery. The red-shirted activists included science writer Seth Borenstein, general desk editor Will Lester, data journalist Chad Day, daybook editor Lisa Dwyer-Shapiro, photographer Alex Brandon, intelligence reporter Deb Riechmann, and Guild national mobilizer Michele Salcedo, on leave from the Washington general news desk. Joining them was Sally Davidow from the CWA national office, the NMG’s parent union.

Nearly a dozen Guild members who had been invited to Tuesday’s dinner were pleasantly surprised to find their colleagues outside.

“I am so glad to see you all out here,” said Errin Haines Whack, a member of The AP’s race and ethnicity reporting team.

Washington Guild members handed her and other reporters stickers identifying themselves as a “Proud Union Journalist” as the invitees walked into the restaurant. Aside from Haines Whack, they included State Department reporter Josh Lederman and Congressional Correspondent Erica Werner.

New Guild member Chad Day, who joined in August, handed managers and even passers-by fliers that outlined the Guild’s objections to some of AP’s contract proposals so far. Among the public that stopped to chat were two former AP employees.

“We are proud to stand in solidarity with our negotiators and were able to convey that important message to the highest levels of AP management,” Salcedo said.

Other managers who took the fliers from the Guild members included: Washington Bureau Chief Julie Pace, Deputy Washington Bureau Chief Kathleen Hennessey, News Editor Ken Guggenheim.


Guild hires Michele Salcedo as mobilizer for AP bargaining

News Media Guild members who work at The Associated Press: Get ready to hear a new voice asking you to help with mobilizing.

That’s because the Guild has hired Michele Salcedo, a desk editor in The Associated Press’ Washington, D.C., bureau, as its full-time mobilizer during bargaining for a new contract with the AP.

The current contract expires at the end of September.

Salcedo, who attended the meeting of mobilizers that the Guild held earlier in August, said she‘s excited about getting Guild members energized for the talks.

“AP journalists are among the hardest working, most dedicated practitioners in the business. I am thrilled to lead the mobilization of AP workers to win a fair contract and, with Guild members and staff, to remind the AP of the excellent job we do every day to produce fact-filled journalism on all platforms for the AP and its members.”

Salcedo is membership secretary for the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., which has more than 3,000 paid members and a $12 million budget. She also has served on regional and national boards of the National Association for Hispanic Journalists, and is a past national president of the association.

The Guild previously had hired Rick Freeman, a former AP sports staffer, who helped organize al-Jazeera’s U.S. operation, as the mobilizer. Freeman has had to step aside for personal reasons, although he still plans to contribute to the mobilizing.

“We were sorry that Rick had to leave as mobilizer, but we’re pleased that Michele is available to get the staff mobilized for bargaining,” said Guild President Martha Waggoner.

Salcedo is taking leave from her AP job, where she focuses on immigration issues and the general news desk, starting the week of Labor Day.

Bargaining, mobilizing discussed at Guild meetings

Bargaining was the main topic of discussion when News Media Guild leaders and mobilizers met in Washington.

The Guild’s Executive Committee and Representative Assembly met for their annual meeting while mobilizers met separately to discuss how to publicize issues during upcoming bargaining with The Associated Press. The contract with the AP expires Sept. 30

More details about the meetings will be added later.