Slate Ratifies First Union Contract with Writers Guild of America, East
Slate's 51-member editorial and podcast staff today ratified its first collective bargaining agreement with the Writers Guild of America, East.
The three-year agreement includes a minimum starting salary of $51,000, annual pay increases, the rights to derivative works, protections against online harassment, codifying anti-harassment policies and a diversity task force, non-discrimination rules, comp time, paid time off, lay-off notice and severance, a commitment to interviewing diverse candidates for open positions, just cause and union security.
The Slate Bargaining Committee issued a statement on its @SlateUnion Twitter account that said, "It's a NEW DAY at Slate! Our contract is built on principles of equity and diversity. And yes, we have union security! Management recognized our profound objections to a "right-to work" provision and honored our demand for a union shop. We will all pay our fair share for the representation we receive. One of our primary reasons for undertaking this process was our profound love of Slate. We felt so lucky to work with management last week to put our shared goals into action. Our contract reflects our fundamental values as a company and a workplace. We're very proud of it."
Lowell Peterson, Executive Director of the Writers Guild of America, East, said, "Slate's editorial staff demonstrates that strong union contracts can be achieved through persistence and people power. They showed that collective bargaining works and that digital media staffs can secure concrete gains and workplace protections. We urge all writers to join the labor movement and win a seat at the table."
In addition to Slate, the WGAE represents staffs at digital shops Refinery29, ThinkProgress, Thrillist, The Dodo, Onion Inc., Salon, The Intercept, Vox Media, VICE, HuffPost, Fast Company, Talking Points Memo, MTV News and Gizmodo Media Group.
The Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO (WGAE) is a labor union representing writers in film, television, news and new media. The Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members; conducts programs, seminars and events on issues of interest to writers; and presents writers' views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit wgaeast.org.