The WGA East’s second contract with Fast Company and Inc. has been unanimously ratified by their 60-member editorial staffs. The two print and digital business news outlets are owned by Mansueto Ventures.
“The WGA East members at Fast Company and Inc. won a second collective bargaining agreement that successfully builds off our first union contract with Mansueto Ventures,” said Lowell Peterson, the guild’s executive director. “Thanks to a strong bargaining unit, the union was able to make significant gains in pay, benefits, parental leave, ending NDAs, and expanding the company’s commitment to diversity. The guild will continue to fight for contracts that allow journalists to build sustainable careers and protect their creative work.”
Fast Company’s staff union with the guild was voluntarily recognized by management in July 2018. The editorial and photo staff ratified their first collective bargaining agreement in June 2019. The editorial staff at Inc., along with the video, events, social, and podcast teams at Fast Company and Inc., won inclusion in the bargaining unit in May 2021.
The new three-year agreement for Fast Company and Inc. will see the salary minimum increase to $60,000 by 2023, up from $50,000 in the original contract. There will also be across the board salary minimum increases for every unit position, and an increase in the annual cost of living raises, up to 4.25%, which is up from a maximum of 3% in the last contract.
“We are thrilled to have been able to negotiate a new contract that we feel will make Mansueto Ventures a better, more equitable place to work for the next three years,” the staffers’ bargaining committee said in a statement. “We’d like to thank management for negotiating in good faith, and we look forward to the implementation of these new policies for our unit members.”
According to the guild, terms of the agreement include:
• Retention bonuses for employees of 5 years and more by 2023
• 401K match, up from 50% to 75%, with the maximum match going up from $2,000 to $2,500, and the salary cap to qualify goes up from $120,000 to $135,000
• 18 weeks of parental leave, up from 12 weeks in the first contract
• Tuition reimbursement up to $5,000, up from $2,500 in the first contract
• An increase in the total vacation days an employee can have after roll-over, from 4 weeks to 5 weeks; increased roll over to 2 weeks up from 1 week
• Formalized language on creative leave (for books & other creative projects)
• At least three members of corporate Diversity Committee must be from the unit
• The Diversity Committee shall discuss the creation of a mentorship program for BIPOC employees with the goal to launch a program within a year of ratification of this contract
• The Company will continue to employ a third-party pay-equity analysis for the unit considering gender, race, and ethnicity and will conduct an analysis at least once during the life of the contract
• No NDAs or similar agreement regarding harassment complaints
• Employees will receive a flat fee of 30% of revenue for derivative works made from their content
• Contractors are now formally defined and will have the option to join staff after a year.
The guild represents nearly 7,000 writers in film, television, news (broadcast and digital), and podcasts. In addition to Fast Company and Inc., it represents newsrooms at 1010 WINS, ABC News, Audacy (WCBS-AM, WBBM-AM, KNX-AM), Bustle Digital Group, CBS News, CBSN, Chalkbeat, Committee to Protect Journalists, The Dodo, Fox 5 WNYW-TV, FT Specialist, Future plc, Gizmodo Media Group, Hearst Magazines, HuffPost,The Intercept, Jewish Currents, MSNBC, MTV News, NowThis, Onion Inc., Refinery29, Salon, Slate, Talking Points Memo, Thirteen Productions (Thirteen/WNET), Thrillist, VICE, Vox Media and WBBM-CBS 2 News.