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Tell McClatchy execs: Commit to equitable wages in our state

The following is from the Washington State NewsGuild:

(May 18, 2022) — The journalists of four local newsrooms in Washington state, The Olympian, The News Tribune in Tacoma, The Bellingham Herald and Tri-City Herald, have been bargaining for a year to secure a first contract with The McClatchy Company that recognizes the hard work we do every day.

The journalists who power these news organizations make up the Washington State NewsGuild, and since the beginning of this process our demands have included securing equitable, living wages that keep up with the rising cost of living in the Pacific Northwest. But McClatchy has so far rejected any real increase.

In recent bargaining sessions, we proposed a minimum yearly pay floor of $55,000 for all four of our newsrooms with raises that keep pace with cost of living. McClatchy has said this type of across-the-state minimum wage is not possible, and instead has not budged from the two-tiered pay floor system established in 2021 — $45,000 for workers at The News Tribune and The Olympian, and $42,000 for The Bellingham Herald and Tri-City Herald. The cost of living has exploded in Washington state since then, and McClatchy’s unwillingness to bring a meaningful counterproposal to the table is unacceptable.

Just a state away, at The Idaho Statesman, the company recently agreed to a $48,000 pay floor for current employees with retroactive pay, a contract ratification bonus, a 3% raise the first year and 2% raises the following two years. It’s insulting that McClatchy won’t match that agreement for its Washington newspapers.

TAKE A STAND — Today we are asking for help and solidarity from the communities reporters are embedded in every day. As local journalists, we want to provide dogged coverage of the governments, schools, businesses, police agencies and other local institutions that affect the lives of you, our neighbors. We love to do this work, but our journalists should not have to live paycheck to paycheck to do it. Please, if you support local news, sign our petition and write to our company’s executives, CEO Tony Hunter and Senior VP of News Kristin Roberts, to push McClatchy to do the right thing for its workers in Washington state.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!