WGA East members employed at NowThis, the progressive news site owned by Vox Media, have unanimously ratified their first-ever contract. The 65-member bargaining unit will see an average raise of 9% in the first year of the agreement, with the lowest-tiered employees receiving a minimum salary of $62,000 by the end of the two-year pact.
“Organizing and negotiating a first contract takes hard work and a willingness to take risks, but they won a great contract,” said Lowell Peterson, the guild’s executive director. “We are pleased by the great terms our members have won.”
According to the guild, all the covered employees will receive a ratification bonus of $3,400 in recognition of increased costs when NowThis moves to Vox’s health insurance plan in 2023; the switch to unlimited paid time off, and the costs of work-from-home equipment.
The new contract also guarantees essential leave and benefit policies, including five months of parental leave and the development of a critical health care policy that extends to abortion access and gender-affirming care.
It also includes a commitment by the company that at least 60% of job candidates interviewed will come from groups underrepresented at NowThis and eliminates the use of employee non-disclosure agreements in cases of harassment or discrimination. The deal also ensures that bargaining unit employees can only be disciplined or fired with just cause, guarantees continued work-from-home flexibility, and requires any new owner to abide by the terms of the contract.
“The journey to our first collective bargaining agreement wasn’t easy, but we couldn’t be more thrilled with everything we won,” the guild’s bargaining committee said in a statement. “As we’ve said from the beginning, we organized not out of anger, but out of love – love for NowThis’ progressive values, love for the stories we tell, and love for our colleagues. We truly believe this deal not only ensures our unit members receive the wages and benefits they deserve, but also reflects the values that NowThis champions every day.”