The editorial staff at Salon, the digital news site, has voted unanimously to ratify their second collective bargaining agreement with the WGA East. Under the new deal, nearly half of the 16 guild members covered by the contract will receive salary increases of at least $10,000 a year.
“We worked hard and in good faith with management to secure a contract that will vastly improve life for current and future employees,” the Salon bargaining committee said in a statement. “We believe the contract will not only lift the standards at Salon, but in the industry. Raising the salary floor and pay equity were high priorities for us, and now no WGA East member will make under $60,000, and our minimums for all titles better reflect the quality of our work and the dedication of our colleagues.”
Highlights of the new three-year contract include:
• A minimum starting salary of $60,000 with increases to the minimums for each job title.
• Annual salary increases of 5% in 2022, and 3% in 2023 and 2024.
• Senior editors added to the bargaining unit.
• Longevity bonuses in 2023 for all employees, with those working at Salon for under five years receiving $500; five to 10 years’ experience receiving $1,000, and those with ten or more years of experience receiving $1,500.
• A minimum of eight weeks of severance upon layoff for those with under three years’ experience and a ten-week minimum for those with more than three years of experience, with fully paid COBRA for length of severance.
• Three months unpaid professional leave with benefits.
• 16-weeks paid parental leave.
• Successor language in event the company is sold.
• Strong diversity language and establishment of a funded diversity committee.
• Professional development pool of $10,000 per year.
• Comp time and limits on excessive workload.
• Strengthened support to combat online harassment and employer paid “Delete Me” service.
• No non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in harassment/discrimination settlements.
• Contractors must move to employee status if retained more than six months.
“Guild members at Salon won a second collective bargaining agreement that includes significant gains in pay, benefits, and parental leave; that ends NDAs; and that expands the company’s commitment to diversity,” said Lowell Peterson, the guild’s executive director. “With a strong union and an engaged membership, we can continue to build our members’ gains, whether we’re negotiating a first, second, or thirtieth contract.”
The WGA East represents nearly 7,000 writers in film, television, news (broadcast and digital), and podcasts. In addition to Salon, it represents newsrooms at WINS-AM, ABC News, Audacy (WCBS-AM, WBBM-AM, KNX-AM), Bustle Digital Group, CBS News, CBSN, Chalkbeat, Committee to Protect Journalists, The Dodo, Fast Company, WNYW-TV, FT Specialist, Future plc, Gizmodo Media Group, Hearst Magazines, HuffPost, Inc., The Intercept, Jewish Currents, MSNBC, MTV News, NowThis, Onion Inc., Refinery29, Slate, Talking Points Memo, Thirteen Productions (Thirteen/WNET), Thrillist, Vice, Vox Media and WBBM-TV.