The editorial staff of Salon, the digital news site, voted unanimously to ratify its second collective agreement with the WGA East. Under the new deal, nearly half of the 16 guild members covered by the contract will receive pay raises of at least $10,000 per year.
“We have worked hard and in good faith with management to secure a contract that will significantly improve the lives of current and future employees,” the show’s negotiating committee said in a statement. “We believe the contract will not only raise standards at the Show, but also in the industry. Raising the salary floor and pay equity were high priorities for us, and now no WGA East member will earn less. $60,000, and our minimums for all titles better reflect the quality of our work and the dedication of our colleagues.
Highlights of the new three-year contract include:
• A minimum starting salary of $60,000 with increases to the minimums for each job title.
• Annual salary increases of 5% in 2022 and 3% in 2023 and 2024.
• Senior Writers added to Bargaining Unit.
• Longevity bonuses in 2023 for all employees, with those who have worked at the Salon for less than five years receiving $500; five to 10 years of experience receiving $1,000 and those with ten or more years of experience receiving $1,500.
• A minimum of eight weeks of severance pay for those with less than three years of experience and a minimum of ten weeks for those with more than three years of experience, with COBRA fully paid for the duration of the indemnity.
• Three months of unpaid professional leave with benefits.
• 16 weeks of paid parental leave.
• Language of the successor in the event of the sale of the business.
• Strong language on diversity and creation of a funded diversity committee.
• Professional Development Reserve of $10,000 per year.
• Compensation time and excessive workload limits.
• Enhanced support to combat online harassment and a “Delete Me” service paid for by the employer.
• No Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) in Harassment/Discrimination Rules.
• Contractors must transition to employee status if retained for longer than six months.
“La Guilde de Salon members have won a second collective agreement that includes significant gains in wages, benefits and parental leave; which puts an end to NDAs; and it expands the company’s commitment to diversity,” said Lowell Peterson, the guild’s executive director. “With a strong union and committed members, we can continue to increase our members’ earnings whether we are negotiating a first, second or 30th contract.
The WGA East represents nearly 7,000 writers in film, television, current affairs (broadcast and digital), and podcasts. In addition to Salon, he represents the newsrooms of WINS-AM, ABC News, Audacy (WCBS-AM, WBBM-AM, KNX-AM), Bustle Digital Group, CBS News, CBSN, Chalkbeat, Committee to Protect Journalists, The Dodo, Fast Company, WNYW-TV, FT Specialist, Future plc, Gizmodo Media Group, Hearst Magazines, HuffPost, Inc., The Intercept, Jewish Currents, MSNBC, MTV News, NowThis, Onion Inc., Refinery29, Slate, Talking Points Memo, Thirteen Productions (Thirteen/WNET), Thrillist, Vice, Vox Media and WBBM-TV.