The NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia and The Philadelphia Inquirer have agreed to a tentative three-year contract agreement with raises and a workforce diversity provision. The 338 union members began voting on the tentative contract on Thursday and are expected to continue voting through 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.
The contract contains a onetime lump-sum payment equivalent to 2.5% of a union member’s salary in the contract’s first year, plus a $500 signing bonus. The second year will see Guild members pay rise by 3%.
Although many individual Guild members have received raises in recent years, the new contract would include the first across-the-board raises since August 2009.
“I said it would be a win for all of us for this [no-pay-raise] narrative to change,” said Diane Mastrull, the guild president and lead negotiator. “We have so many important things to do here for them to be overshadowed by something like no raises. By no means is anyone getting rich from this contract, but we could not have employees worried about whether they would be able to pay their bills year to year.”
The tentative contract continues its health benefits and “includes extensive language committing the company to the recruitment, employment, promotion, training and career development of a diverse workforce,” the union added.