A bargaining program in disarray

We’ve seen a very recent wave in grassroots organizing across the NewsGuild. That’s been great for our union. But several of those new shops have yet to sit down at the bargaining table.

Why? Because the Guild's headquarters has failed to provide many of our new members with the basic resources they need to negotiate good contracts in a timely manner.

That will end if you elect me president of the Guild.

Under the longtime incumbent president, Bernie Lunzer, Guild headquarters has shrunk its collective bargaining program and fails to give locals everywhere sufficient training, personnel, data and expertise required to go toe-to-toe with employers in bargaining. Our members have paid the price.

The situation has become so dire that the position of national director of collective bargaining at headquarters has been vacant for nearly a year. So has the position of national communications director. An effective union leader knows that a sophisticated communications campaign can apply a great deal of pressure on employers in contract talks.

As president, I will launch a Guild-wide effort to give every local a full set of tools to bargain most effectively for their members. I will be a stronger partner with the CWA to keep key Guild positions funded. And I will make certain those positions are filled with people who will get the job done.

I will immediately build a team to create an internal website for union leaders to store and organize contracts so that they are easily searchable and comparable across all of our shops.

Headquarters also needs a long-overdue national strategy for collective bargaining. I will pool the strengths of our locals and veteran Guild members and finally coordinate our approach to issues important to all of our members, such as job protections, higher wages, pay equity and retirement benefits.

Don't forget to vote! Mail ballots must be returned by early May. Some shops are voting in-person in April. More information here.

Jon Schleuss