WBNG Collective Bargaining Update

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With the staff of the Georgia AFL-CIO having recently signed a three-year agreement, the Washington-Baltimore News Guild now has 30 shops on its roster. The Peach State’s labor federation contract will expire March 30, 2020.

In other local action:

The 35-member unit at the Center for Popular Democracy, which ratified its first Guild contract the first of the year, is under the leadership of Michele Kilpatrick and Art Reyes. According to Local Representative Rick Ehrmann, the two are serving as “acting co-chairs” until unit elections are held.

To prepare for talks over a contract that expires June 30, the Guild staff (25 workers in the unit) at the headquarters of the National Association of Social Workers have elected a bargaining committee that includes Dina Kastner, Rochelle Wilder, and Helen Williams.

The Advancement Project, a 15-member shop organized in January, has begun bargaining with a team comprising Andrew Ambrogi, Danielle Davis, Carolyn Steptoe, and local rep Ehrmann.

Also working on its first Guild contract is the 20-member unit at the FP Group, which publishes Foreign Policy magazine and associated web newsletters. The shop was organized last summer as the result of a 16-to-1 vote in favor of WBNG representation. The bargaining team consists of Dan De Luce, Elias Groll, Molly O’Toole, Ben Soloway, Reid Standish, and Local Representative Paul Reilly.

Currently negotiating successor contracts that have expired but remain in effect are the 62-member unit at UFCW headquarters and the 17-member unit at Jobs with Justice.  

Guild Unit at Center for Popular Democracy Wins First CBA

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The three-dozen member WBNG unit at the Center for Popular Democracy has its first Guild contract, a three-year agreement ratified Feb. 17 by a unanimous vote.

“The CBA includes significant advances for Guild members,” said Local Representative Rick Ehrmann. “There’s a union-shop clause, grievance and arbitration procedures, annual pay-equity evaluations, cost-of-living adjustments, and paid family leave.”

The agreement also features a stipulation limiting executive pay, Ehrmann said. Under Article 22, Section 3, “the highest paid employee of the organization shall not receive a salary exceeding three times the upper salary cap for initial salary offers” to bargaining-unit employees.

The contract at WBNG’s newest unit is retroactive to Jan. 1, and expires the first day of 2020. The agreement with the progressive nonprofit is the culmination of an organizing campaign that began in May. Guild organizing consultant Bruce Jett said signed representation cards were quickly collected from more than two-thirds of the employees in the proposed unit.

After an agreement was reached on bargaining-unit clarification, a voluntary recognition agreement was signed in early July. Formal bargaining began in September.

Six of the bargaining unit’s workers are in the organization’s Dupont Circle office; 13 work out of its Brooklyn headquarters. The other members of the shop are scattered among offices of CPD partners nationwide, including in Los Angeles, Houston, Minneapolis, Detroit, and Philadelphia.

Unit members voted electronically on ratification, with a final count of 33 in favor and zero opposed. Pending a unit election, the bargaining committee members – Uyen Doan, Josue Guillen, Michelle Kilpatrick, Art Reyes, and Kimihel Tseggai – will serve as the new shop’s officers.

Center for Popular Democracy Shop in Talks for First Guild CBA

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The three-dozen member WBNG unit at the Center for Popular Democracy had its first formal bargaining session with management on Sept. 16.

“We had a preliminary conference call with management over ground rules and modalities for bargaining in early September,” said Local Representative Rick Ehrmann. “Both sides are looking at ways to pursue ‘interest-based bargaining’ for the first Guild contract.” The first day of talks were via videoconference.

On July 8, management at the progressive nonprofit headquartered in New York signed a voluntary recognition agreement with Local 32035, which had begun an organizing campaign in May.

The new shop’s members elected a bargaining committee consisting of Uyen Doan, Shawn Sebastian, Josue Guillen, and co-chairs Michelle Kilpatrick and Art Reyes.

WBNG Gains Bargaining Rights For Three Dozen Workers at Nonprofit

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An organizing campaign that concluded with management voluntarily recognizing the Washington-Baltimore NewsGuild has resulted in the creation of a 36-worker bargaining unit at the Center for Popular Democracy.

The campaign at the progressive nonprofit headquartered in New York began in May. “We quickly collected signed cards from more than two-thirds of the three dozen or so employees in the unit,” said WBNG Organizer Bruce Jett. “An agreement was then reached on bargaining-unit clarification, and a voluntary recognition agreement was signed by both parties July 8.”

“After we presented signed cards from 30 CPD employees seeking union membership,” said Local Representative Rick Ehrmann, “management agreed to our proposal for card-count recognition.” The neutral card-check count was conducted by an arbitrator July 14.

Six of the new bargaining unit’s workers are in the organization’s Dupont Circle office. Thirteen members of the shop are in Brooklyn, and the others are scattered among offices of CPD partners nationwide, including in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Detroit and Minneapolis.

“In partnership with high-impact base-building organizations, organizing alliances, and progressive unions,”populardemocracy.org notes that CPD has “an innovative pro-worker, pro-immigrant, racial and economic justice agenda.”

Current campaign titles indicate goals of Climate Justice, Education Justice, and Housing Justice & Wall Street Accountability. The Fed Up Campaign works toward a reform of the Federal Reserve System while achieving full employment nationwide.