The Times Reaches a Contract Deal With Its Newsroom Union
The New York Times reached a deal on Tuesday for a new contract with the union representing the majority of its newsroom employees, ending more than two years of contentious negotiations that included a 24-hour strike.
The agreement, if ratified, will give union members immediate salary increases of up to 12.5 percent to cover the last two years and 2023, and will raise the required minimum salary to $65,000, up from about $37,500. The previous contract expired in March 2021, and union members have not received contractual raises since 2020.
Under the contract, the median salary for reporters in the union would be about $160,000.
The union negotiating the deal, which is part of the NewsGuild of New York, represents nearly 1,500 employees in the newsroom, advertising and other areas of the company. More than 1,800 people work in The Times’s newsroom.
The union said members would vote to ratify the five-year deal in the coming week.
“This deal is a victory for all the union members who fought for a fair contract that rewards our hard work and sacrifice,” Bill Baker, The New York Times Guild’s unit chair, said in a statement. “It shows that the company cannot take us for granted and must be held accountable.”
Cliff Levy, a Times deputy managing editor, said in an email to Times union members that the contract provided them with “sizable, well-deserved raises, a big bonus and an array of important new benefits.”
“From the beginning of this bargaining process, we’ve been determined to reach a contract that shows how much we value the contributions of NewsGuild members to The Times’s success,” Mr. Levy said.
The deal includes a contractual agreement on hybrid work and eligibility for paid sabbatical leave of four weeks for every 10 years worked at the company. The company also agreed that new newsroom jobs, including any expansion into local markets, would be part of the union and pay fair minimum salaries.
The bargaining over the contract was frequently heated, with divisions sometimes spilling into public view. Negotiators diverged on salaries, health and retirement benefits, and other issues. The union accused The Times of slow-walking the negotiations and refusing to share the company’s profits with employees, while Times executives pointed to a need for cautious budgeting amid an uncertain economic outlook.
In December, Times Guild members held a one-day strike, a rarity at The Times, which hasn’t had a work stoppage longer than a day since the 1970s. Last month, union members protested outside the company’s annual stockholder meeting and delivered a letter to the publisher, A.G. Sulzberger, signed by more than 1,000 members, that said: “Enough is enough.”
Under the new contract, which would cover 2021 through February 2026, union members would receive a one-time retroactive bonus of 7 percent of their base pay from when the previous contract expired.
The union workers would get an initial salary increase on a sliding scale, with larger increases for those paid less. Workers making under $100,000 a year would get an immediate 12.5 percent increase, while those making more than $160,000 a year would receive an immediate 10.6 percent bump.
All Guild employees would receive a 3.25 percent increase in 2024 and a 3 percent increase in 2025.
Source: New York Times