Insider CEO and cofounder Henry Blodget sent out the following to the staff on Monday: Team, As you know, many members of our U.S. editorial team participated in a voting process earlier this month to decide whether to form an editorial union. The votes were counted today, and our team has decided to unionize. We respect this
Insider CEO and cofounder Henry Blodget sent out the following to the staff on Monday:
As you know, many members of our U.S. editorial team participated in a voting process earlier this month to decide whether to form an editorial union. The votes were counted today, and our team has decided to unionize.
We respect this decision, and we are grateful to everyone for carefully considering their votes. We look forward to working with our team’s representatives to develop a collective bargaining agreement as soon as they are ready to do so.
I’ve included some background information on the union and collective bargaining process below. If you have any questions, please reach out to Jessica Liebman and her team in editorial or Margaret Bowani or Nailah Banks-Embden in P&C.
Thank you all.
Insider’s editorial union encompasses approximately 300 of our U.S.-based journalists. This includes most of our full-time U.S.-based journalists and producers who are individual contributors and do not manage others. The group was defined and agreed to by the News Guild and company before the vote. It includes journalists who live anywhere in the U.S., not just those in New York City. The group does not include any roles on our business or product and tech teams.
Our employees are represented by a third-party organization called the News Guild of New York. The Guild will now appoint 10-15 employees to help develop a “collective bargaining agreement” — a contract that will spell out the terms of employment for all employees in the bargaining unit. Representatives from the Guild and our leadership team will also participate in these discussions. It is in everyone’s interests to develop a collective bargaining agreement as quickly and smoothly as possible, and we will try to do that. This said, at other digital media companies, this process has taken many months and sometimes years.
(If you would like to get a sense of what is covered in a collective bargaining agreement, here is a recent one from Vox Media. It’s 36 pages and covers compensation, benefits, severance, “grievance procedures,” and other terms of employment.)
Most employees in the “bargaining unit” (roles covered by the union) will be required to pay union dues or a “fair share” percentage of the dues whether or not they join the union. The dues are currently 1.3846% of the annual salary for each employee. The News Guild sets the dues. According to recent press reports, the Guild is considering raising its dues. The dues will not start until the collective bargaining agreement is ratified. After that, they will be deducted automatically from the paychecks of employees in the unit.
In order to prepare for the collective bargaining discussions, the News Guild may want to see detailed salary and benefits information of everyone in the bargaining unit. Employee privacy is very important to us, so we will share that information only if asked.
The National Labor Relations Board should certify the union in a few weeks. After that, we will begin developing the collective bargaining agreement as soon as the union’s representatives are able to meet with us. The Guild has told us that, based on their internal processes, they will not be able to start negotiating until the fall.
In the meantime—and during the period that the collective bargaining agreement is being developed—we will continue to respond quickly to employee needs. If we believe that changing our existing terms and conditions of employment is in the interests of our team, we will seek interim approval from the Guild.
The creation of the editorial union should not affect the rest of our employees.