“This campaign was the first time so many different bargaining units spread across the country were able to coordinate their efforts and join in common cause.”

DENVER, JULY 27, 2016 — Leaders of 12 Guild bargaining units reached an unprecedented tentative agreement with Digital First Media today, including the first across-the-board pay increase many DFM workers have seen in years.

The bargaining was conducted during an ongoing revenue squeeze and threats of job cuts throughout the newspaper industry. At DFM, management’s outsourcing of jobs has been a key issue, as have Guild efforts to win enhanced severance terms for any workers facing layoff.

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The Denver Newspaper Guild held a rally outside The Denver Post in June condemning downsizing actions by owner Alden Global Capital. Photo by Patrick Traylor.

The tentative agreement reached today will be presented to members for separate ratification votes in each of the bargaining units, in most cases during meetings to be scheduled by August 15.

Nationally, the terms of the proposed three-year deal include a 3 percent pay increase for all bargaining unit members in the first year of the agreement.

Outsourcing and other changes will impact jobs in some cities. Those and other specific terms affecting individual bargaining units will be announced separately by the leadership of those units.

Ratification plans also will be handled separately. The bargaining units represent workers at The Denver Post, The Mercury News, East Bay Times, Monterey Herald, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Macomb Daily and The Daily Tribune, Kingston Daily Freeman, Pottstown Mercury, Norristown Times-Herald, The Delaware County Times, and The Trentonian.

Today’s tentative national agreement concluded a daylong meeting in Denver hosted by the Denver Newspaper Guild and CWA District 7, the third day of joint talks.

This nationally coordinated bargaining framework represents a fundamental advance for members at all locations, union leaders said.

The Guild and management also agreed to joint bargaining on wages in February 2017 and February 2018. Guild leaders said this joint framework offers the chance to continue the solidarity forged this year during our #NewsMatters national campaign.

That campaign, financed by a special grant from the Guild’s parent union, the Communications Workers of America, laid the foundation for the Denver meetings, the first time so many different bargaining units spread across the country were able to coordinate their efforts and join in common cause.

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