After nearly a year of collective bargaining, the Washington-Baltimore News Guild and the Foreign Policy magazine have reached agreement on a two-year contract.
The unit was organized in 2016, when FP editorial workers voted 16 to 1 in favor of Guild representation.
Among the highlights of the new agreement are guaranteed raises for everyone, minimum salaries for every position, and cash overtime pay for those in positions with minimum salaries below $46,000 a year. Guild-covered workers ineligible for cash overtime will receive compensatory time off for work performed on weekends.
The bargaining unit’s first contract also features a “just cause” stipulation for termination and all forms of discipline. “We won’t be at-will employees anymore,” said Unit Chair Ben Soloway in an email to Guild members at FP. “No more arbitrary firing. Discipline will have to follow a very clear process.”
Soloway noted that the contract also provides layoff protections. “If layoffs happen, seniority will play a role, and FP will have to abide by a one-year rehire list. This also protects us from the use of layoffs to get around just cause for termination. “
The contract also outlines grievance and arbitration procedures to resolve disputes. And there will be an immediate one-time payment of $1,500 into each union member’s retirement account.
In 2008, Foreign Policy magazine and associated web products were bought by the Washington Post Company.
When the family-owned Post was sold to amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos in August 2013, what is now known as Graham Holdings Company retained FP. FP Guild members produce the FP magazine six times a year as well as the Foreignpolicy.com website.