Tag Archives: Waggoner

Huffington Post landing page about The Guardian US staff forming a union

Guardian US staffers vote unanimously to join News Media Guild

Writers and staff members of The Guardian US announced Wednesday they have voted to join the News Media Guild in a unanimous vote held through an expedited election agreed to by The Guardian’s management and staff.

Forty-five staffers participated in the election. The announcement is the latest in a series of organizing victories for digital news reporters.

“This is a big day not only for the writers and staff members at The Guardian US but for the news industry as a whole. Digital media is growing up, and it’s time our digital reporters received the same benefits and protections as their print media colleagues,” said Bernie Lunzer, president of The NewsGuild-CWA, NMG’s parent union.

“The News Media Guild is pleased that the editorial staff of The Guardian US chose our union to represent them,” said Martha Waggoner, president of the News Media Guild, the TNG-CWA local that The Guardian US staffers will join. “The Guardian has a history of great reporting that continues today. It’s a publication with a grand tradition of unionism that now includes its U.S. writers.”

The Guardian US writers and management released a joint statement announcing the vote to unionize:

“We are proud to announce that the editorial staff of Guardian US have voted unanimously in favor of collective representation under the auspices of the News Media Guild, following a ballot which was conducted independently by the American Arbitration Association. The union has been voluntarily recognized by Guardian News & Media LLC following the result of that ballot.

“We would like to thank the News Media Guild and the Communications Workers of America for their invaluable help, advice and support. Furthermore, we greatly appreciate the support shown by our unionized editorial colleagues in the UK and Australia, where the Guardian has a strong history of working in partnership with its unions.

“We are also grateful to the leadership shown by the Guardian US editor, Lee Glendinning, who immediately welcomed our initiative to seek collective representation. Our discussions with Guardian management have been conducted in a constructive manner and we’re confident we can all achieve our stated goal – a long-term, sustainable future for the Guardian and its quality journalism.

“Guardian US is in the process of rapid growth, which has been reflected by increasing audience figures and groundbreaking journalism, from our Pulitzer prize-winning Edward Snowden disclosures to our current work highlighting police-related deaths through The Counted project. Together we look forward to continuing to enhance the Guardian’s reputation as one of the most read, most respected and most trusted news organizations in the US.”


Would your newsroom like to join News Media Guild?

We’d love to hear from you. Email us at guild@newsmediaguild.org

About The NewsGuild-CWA

The NewsGuild-CWA has represented digital workers for over 20 years, first as print and broadcast employers expanded online, and later in digital-only operations. Today, it represents over 2,000 digital workers. They range from staff members at The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Associated Press, Reuters, Boston.Com, SFGate and Philly.com to writers at The Daily Beast, Truthout and In these Times.

AP reduces pension debt to estimated $37.6M; bargaining resumes next week

We got good news Thursday from The Associated Press — its estimated pension debt has dropped from $223 million in 2013 to an estimated $37.6 million.

A $7.6 million payment in 2013 and a $110 million payment this year, which included the proceeds from AP’s sale of Stats Inc., significantly reduced the interest due on future payments.

AP also shaved three years off the time in which it will even have a pension debt. By 2019, The AP estimates it will owe $342,000 to pay off the pension debt.

“It’s wonderful to see that The AP has taken steps to pay down the pension and is no longer operating with such a huge debt,” News Media Guild President Martha Waggoner said. “We certainly hope the AP decides it can now be more generous with the Guild-covered staff.”

The Guild and the AP are in their 15th month of bargaining. Bargainers for the Guild and AP met Wednesday and Thursday in off-the-record sessions and will resume bargaining Sept. 23 and Sept. 24.

AP, Guild bargainers discuss company finances

While the chief executive officer of the Associated Press is presenting an upbeat picture of finances, the company’s bargainers say News Media Guild staffers must make sacrifices in health insurance and job protections for AP to stay competitive.

Just last Wednesday, AP CEO Gary Pruitt held a town hall, telling staffers that the company is strong financially with no risk of failure or bankruptcy. Pension payments and the transformation in the media landscape were described as challenges, he said, adding that all departments performed well in 2013.

At the bargaining table Tuesday, however, AP negotiators indicated that Guild-covered staffers work only for the traditional newspaper market, which is in decline. ” … I am sure that you also heard Gary say that revenues from the traditional newspaper market, served by employees in the News Media Guild, remain in decline,” AP said. “There is no way out of it — in the interest of responsible leadership, we must continue to find additional ways to manage prudently going forward. It is the only way we can keep AP strong for our customers, for our employees and for our journalistic mission.” Continue reading

TNG’s Barr Award winners announced

A college journalist’s profile of a recovering teenage heroin addict and a high school journalist’s radio report on sexual cyber-bullying have won The Newspaper Guild-CWA’s 2013 David S. Barr awards.

Andrew Travis Pantazi, 21, a student at the University of Florida in Gainesville, will receive a $1,500 check with his award for “’Cheese’ Heroin: Living on the Edge,” which was published in The Dallas Morning News.

Through lengthy interviews and court records, Pantazi reconstructed the story of a 13-year-old heroin addict who is now six years sober.

The 2013 high school award, which includes a $1,000 check, goes to Temitayo Fagbenle from Vanguard High School in Queens, N.Y.

Barr Award winner Temitayo Fagbenle, 16, in the radio studio.

Barr Award winner Temitayo Fagbenle, 16, in the radio studio.

The 2013 Barr judges, all members of the Guild’s Executive Council, were journalists Martha Waggoner of the Associated Press, Scott Edmonds of the Canadian Press and Kevin Flowers of the Times Publishing Co. in Erie, Penn. Continue reading

Guild and AP begin negotiations for a new contract

As negotiating for a new contract began Monday, the News Media Guild bargainers proposed a three-year agreement with annual 6 percent raises, along with provisions to improve job security, retirement and health benefits and protect against work speedups.

“Guild-covered employees were pleased to hear CEO Gary Pruitt say at his town halls that the Associated Press is doing well financially, and we’re glad the company is on solid ground,” said Martha Waggoner, chair of the bargaining committee, in her opening remarks.

NMG negotiators Pat Turley (foreground) and Don Ryan at work after first day of bargaining, July 22, 2013.

NMG negotiators Pat Turley (foreground) and Don Ryan at work after first day of bargaining, July 22, 2013.

The employees want to share in that financial picture, with higher pay and better benefits, she said. Continue reading