Staffers at the Huffington Post website have ratified their first collective bargaining agreement, according to Writers Guild of America East, which said the vote was nearly unanimous.
WGAE said the agreement results in major pay gains—no unit will get less than a 3% annual pay raise—protections of journalistic integrity and gives the editorial staff an ongoing voice.
To resolve what WGAE said had been some "below-market" pay issues, some employees will get as much as $20,000 over the life of the agreement.
The union says other highlights include not assigning editorial staffers to branded content of native advertising and protecting editorial content from advertiser interference, including a committee to enforce those; comp time for holidays and scheduled days off; newsroom diversity initiatives, with a committee to enforce those; revenue sharing for derivative works; and guaranteed severance for layoffs.
"This landmark agreement demonstrates that collective bargaining works,” said WGAE executive director Lowell Peterson of the agreement.
Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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