May 12, 2022 - Business

Reporters in union negotiations for wage increases

The Detroit Free Press logo emblazoned on a window.

The Detroit Free Press office downtown. Photo: Joe Guillen/Axios

Unionized journalists at Detroit's two major newspapers have been unable to reach an agreement with management on wages and other matters.

Why it matters: Local journalism is essential, especially as misinformation is increasingly rampant.

  • Negotiations involving the Newspaper Guild of Detroit – which includes workers at the Detroit Free Press, Detroit News and the Observer & Eccentric papers – comes amid a wave of unionization among reporters nationally.

State of play: Guild members have been working under a month-to-month renewal since their contract expired in 2019. The pandemic is partly to blame for the delayed contract talks.

  • On the other side of the bargaining table are owners Gannett and MediaNews Group.

Details: During protracted contract negotiations, the Guild proposed across-the-board wage increases of 3% in the first year of a three-year contract, 2.75% the second year and 2.5% the third year. Health care and pensions are also on the table.

  • Company representatives instead proposed a $750 signing bonus upon contract ratification, with possibly a second $750 bonus one year later, according to the Guild.

Editor's note: Joe Guillen is a former Free Press reporter.


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