Tag Archives: Sara Steffens

Members of NMG's Representative Assembly and Executive Committee are all fired up at the end of their 2015 meeting.

NMG’s elected leaders meet to discuss how to build a stronger union

The elected leaders of the News Media Guild did the work that had to be done, such as approving a budget for the upcoming fiscal year, then spent much of their time discussing how they can build a stronger union.

The members of the Executive Committee and the Representative Assembly held their annual meeting Aug. 7-9 in Washington, D.C. They discussed organizing new offices, as we did with the Guardian US staff, and signing up more non-members at The Associated Press. They also discussed ways to get more members involved in the union with small tasks such as increasing participation on shoptalk, the Guild’s list serve, and writing stories for the new website.

Attending the meeting from the Guardian US were Jana Kasperkevic and Anna Codrea-Rado, who talked about why their newsroom chose the News Media Guild when they decided to form a union. They said one of the main reasons was that NMG leaders and those of our parent union, NewsGuild-CWA, responded so quickly and thoroughly to their questions and concerns.

“Although it was good to see old friends again, veterans of so many RAs, the best thing for me was to see young people coming up with enthusiasm and new ideas,” said Jorge Banales, the RA member for EFE, the Spanish-language news service.

The RA elected a new chair, Carla Johnson of Chicago, and a new vice chair, Stephanie Nano of New York City.

“It comes down to giving us all a stronger voice in shaping our work lives and, ultimately, improving the quality of journalism at our news organizations,” Johnson said. “That’s why I’m getting more involved in our union.”

The participants approved appointments to three standing committees; human rights and equity, health and safety and professionalism. Members of the human rights and equity committee are: Barbara Rodriguez of Des Moines, chair; Stephanie Siek of New York City and Russell Contreras of Albuquerque. Members of the health and safety committee are: Stephanie Nano of New York City, chair; Dave Herron of Seattle and Sue Ogrocki of Oklahoma City. Members of the professionalism committee are: Jill Zeman Bleed of Little Rock, chair; Margery Beck of Omaha; and Carol Druga of Atlanta.

“I witnessed firsthand that our union is alive and well, tangible and very relevant,” said Jeff Turner, an RA member from Los Angeles. “I was able to learn how the Guild works for us and how important our union really is, not just for me personally but every employee in my office and throughout the AP.”

NewsGuild-CWA President Bernie Lunzer and CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens, who spoke to the EC on Friday, congratulated our local for organizing the 45 staffers of the Guardian US. They also discussed plans for future organizing of digital journalists.

“The meeting provided some great ideas on how to approach recruiting and to do more to keep the union active between bargaining sessions,” said Will Lester, the RA member from Washington, D.C.


Joining a day of action with the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA and allies was Sara Nelson, AFA-CWA president; Sara Steffens, CWA secretary-treasurer; Lisa Bolton, T&T vice president; Chris Shelton, CWA president and Charlie Braico, NABET-CWA president!

CWA officers join United Airlines union in day of protests

United Airlines flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), were joined by supporters internationally to call on United Airlines to negotiate a fair contract and finish the operational merger.

“The picket lines have been absolutely electric today. United Flight Attendants and supporters from throughout the industry marched in extraordinary numbers and generated a lot of noise when calling on United management to recognize the hard work of Flight Attendants,” AFA International President Sara Nelson said Thursday. “Executives and shareholders are cashing in while passengers and Flight Attendants are left dealing with the frustrations of a fractured operation. Enough is enough. United needs to negotiate within the reality of record profits and get this merger done. It’s our turn and it’s past time.”

Among those supporting the AFA were CWA secretary-treasurer Sara Steffens, formerly of The NewsGuild, and CWA President Chris Shelton.

In 19 cities around the world, more than 2,000 flight attendants stood together to send a message to management: the fight will continue until we reach a contract that we are proud to ratify.

“This fight is about our scope and job security. This fight is about management trying to take away profit sharing at a time of record profits. This fight is about maintaining contract provisions that survived even bankruptcy,” Nelson said. “This fight is about a corporate power grab and we won’t stand for it. Flight Attendants have given a lot to United Airlines and we deserve a fair contract in return. Getting a contract is critical for completing the merger. United front line workers and United passengers deserve nothing less.”


The Association of Flight Attendants is the world’s largest flight attendant union. Focused 100 percent on flight attendant issues, AFA has been the leader in advancing the flight attendant profession for 67 years. Serving as the voice for flight attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill, AFA has transformed the flight attendant profession by raising wages, benefits and working conditions. Nearly 50,000 Flight Attendants come together to form AFA, part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afacwa.org.

AP senior journalist Linda Deutsch speaks at training for journalists sponsored by Guild

Associated Press senior correspondent Linda Deutsch was one of several journalists to speak at the inaugural “Spring Training for Journalists,” held in Los Angeles.

Deutsch, the nation’s premier courtroom reporter, held a room spellbound with stories from her stellar career, including coverage of the Manson trial, the Patty Hearst case and the Michael Jackson trial.

Event organizer Sara Steffens, a staff rep for The Newspaper Guild and CWA, said Deutsch was fantastic. “She said she would agree to accept a speaking engagement only because she loves the Guild so much,” Steffens said.

AP senior correspondent and News Media Guild member Linda Deutsch speaks at a Spring Training for Journalists, held Feb. 9, 2013, and sponsored by The Newspaper Guild

AP senior correspondent and News Media Guild member Linda Deutsch speaks at a Spring Training for Journalists, held Feb. 9, 2013, and sponsored by The Newspaper Guild

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