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The News Guild Launches Pay Equity Drive At Newspapers

Published Tuesday, April 16, 2019
by Mark Gruenberg/Press Associates Union News Service
The News Guild Launches Pay Equity Drive At Newspapers

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) -The News Guild, a Communications Workers of America (CWA) Sector, is using Equal Pay Day to launch a big pay equity drive at the Nation’s newspapers - and data its Union Locals have gathered from their own employers - usually over the bosses’ opposition - show newspapers need it.

Equal Pay Day spotlights the fact that the Median Weekly Wage for a Working Woman is 77 cents to 80 cents for every dollar in the median for a man in a virtually equal job.

The median is the point where half the group are above and half below.

A sample from four Locals representing Workers at five newspapers - The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphia Daily News, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, The Washington Post and The New York Times - shows Male-Female Pay Gaps ranging from zero for new hires at The Inquirer to 86 cents per dollar at The Post.  The Inquirer gap for veterans in 2016, though, was 16%.

The gaps were wider for People of Color, who were underrepresented in newsrooms as well, the sample showed.  The only two with actual figures, though, were Philadelphia (19.2%) and Minnesota (18%).

Elsewhere, management resisted disclosing the representation figures at the papers.

Those pay gaps are less than the nationwide chasm, just as the pay gap between Union Men and Union Women is 86 cents per dollar.

But the median for Union Women is 9% above the national median for all Workers, Male and Female, Union and Non-Union, combined.

News Guild President Bernie Lunzer said the Union’s materials can be used at both TNG-represented papers and on social media: “Study after study has shown that at news organizations across the country, Women and People of Color are paid significantly less than their colleagues. That issue has sparked plenty of Union Organizing Drives.  Today, News Guild Members around the country are posting on social media, putting up table tents and talking with their colleagues about how the Union can address pay discrimination directly.”

Besides setting up an Equal Pay Day web site - www.NewsGuildEqualPay.org, the Guild also posted sample tweets to attract other Workers’ interest.

“Think your job is underpaying Women and People of Color?  You're probably right!  Journalists across the country are fighting back, requesting pay data during negotiations and demanding #EqualPay.  Join the movement!  Click for more info: www.newsguildequalpay.org #EqualPayDay,” one read.

“A Female Co-Worker seemed uncomfortable when she approached me in the parking lot and asked me how much money I made.  I made a lot more than she did, even though we had the same educational experience and she had more work experience.  Similar conversations with the same results sparked our Union Campaign.  Fighting for equal pay is going to be a priority for our new Union,” Dusty Christensen of the Pioneer Valley News Guild in Northampton, Massachusetts told TNG.                                   

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