The editorial staff at the Huffington Post has become the latest digital newsroom to ratify a WGA East-negotiated contract. During the past couple of years the guild has also organized the digital writing staffs at Vice Media, Gawker Media, Salon and The Guardian US.
“We are building a strong movement of digital journalists in perilous times,” said WGA East executive director Lowell Peterson, who noted that there are now more than 500 digital journalists covered by WGA-negotiated contracts.
The Huffington Post contract guarantees that no one covered by the pact will receive less than 3% annual pay raises and, in some cases, the new minimum and title adjustments mean that many employees will receive increases of $10,000 – and in some cases as much as $20,000 – over the life of the agreement.
The contract also requires comp time for employees who are assigned work hours on holidays and scheduled days off; provisions to enhance newsroom diversity, including a system of job posting and an ongoing diversity committee; a just cause provision for discipline and discharge; language protecting the integrity of members’ editorial work, ensuring that editorial employees cannot be assigned to work on branded content or native advertising; and guaranteed severance in the event of layoffs or termination for editorial issues.
“This landmark agreement demonstrates that collective bargaining works,” Peterson said. “Our large and engaged negotiating committee worked tirelessly to communicate the real concerns of WGAE-represented employees, and the company’s bargaining team was respectful and responsive.”