February 29, 2024

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The New York Times reaches a contract agreement with the union

The New York Times reaches a contract agreement with the union

The New York Times reached an agreement on Tuesday on a new contract with the union that represents the majority of the newsroom staff, ending more than two years of contentious negotiations that included a 24-hour strike.

The agreement, if ratified, would give union members immediate salary increases of up to 12.5 percent to cover the past two years and 2023, and would raise the required minimum salary to $65,000, up from about $37,500. The previous contract expired in March 2021, and union members have not received contract increases since 2020.

The union negotiating the deal, part of NewsGuild of New York, represents approximately 1,500 employees in the newsroom, advertising, and other areas of the company. More than 1,800 people work in the Times newsroom.

The union said members would vote to ratify the five-year deal next week.

“This deal is a victory for all members of the union who have fought for a fair contract that rewards our hard work and sacrifice,” Bill Baker, president of the New York Times Syndicate, said in a statement. “It shows that the company cannot take us for granted and must be held accountable.”

The Times’ deputy managing editor, Clive Levy, said in an email to Times syndicate members that the contract provided them with “substantial and well-deserved raises, a large bonus and a host of important new benefits”.

“From the beginning of this bargaining process, we were determined to reach a contract that would show how much we value the contributions of NewsGuild members to the success of The Times,” said Mr. Levy.

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The deal includes a contractual agreement on hybrid work and eligibility for four weeks of paid sabbatical leave for every 10 years with the company. The company also agreed that new newsroom functions, including any expansion into local markets, would be part of the union and pay a minimum salary.

Contract bargaining was often heated, with divisions sometimes spilling over into public opinion. The negotiators disagreed over salaries, health and retirement benefits, and other issues. The union accused The Times of slowing down negotiations and refusing to share the company’s profits with employees, while Times executives cited the need for a cautious budget amid an uncertain economic outlook.

In December, members of the Times Union staged a one-day strike, a rarity for The Times, which had not been off work for more than one day since the 1970s. Last month, union members protested outside the company’s annual shareholder meeting and handed a letter to the publisher, AG Sulzberger, signed by more than 1,000 members, that read: “Enough.”

Under the new contract, which will cover 2021 through February 2026, union members will receive a one-time retroactive bonus of 7 percent of their base wage since the expiration of the previous contract.

Union workers will receive an initial salary increase on a sliding scale, with larger increases for those on lower salaries. Workers earning less than $100,000 per year will receive an immediate increase of 12.5 percent, while those earning more than $160,000 per year will receive an immediate increase of 10.6 percent.

All union employees will receive a 3.25 percent increase in 2024 and a 3 percent increase in 2025.

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