UMG negotiates raises, increased benefits at Jobs with Justice

Feb 20, 2018 by

The United Media Guild achieved many economic gains with its tentative three-year agreement with Missouri Jobs with Justice.

“The staff of Jobs with Justice works very hard to advance the rights of workers,” unit chair Richard von Glahn said. “Having an employer that recognizes and values that work only drives us to work even harder and build JWJ into a successful and powerful organization.”

Business representative Shannon Duffy and von Glahn negotiated the new contract which, if ratified this week, will include:

  • A new minimum base pay of $40,000, which will result in significant raises for several employees.
  • Average salary increases of 15 percent over three years.
  • Family health and dental insurance provided with no premium costs to employees.
  • The employer will contribute $800 a year into the CWA retirement and savings account for each employee and match up to an additional 4 percent.
  • Part time employees will be eligible for health and retirement benefits at a pro-rated basis.
  • Employees will get $1,000 every Jan. 1 in a Health Savings Account.
  • Employees will receive a cell phone on the JWJ plan or up to $65/month in reimbursement for the cost of their personal plan.
  • Employees can sell back up to 40 hours of unused vacation a year at a rate of $15 per hour.
  • Employees working in “campaign mode” will earn 8 hours of vacation for every week they are in such mode.
  • The employer will establish a pre-tax flexible savings program if feasible.

Also, Jobs with Justice and the UMG will establish a labor-management process to help resolve concerns.

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UMG to hold Local Meeting and awards ceremony Feb. 6

Jan 14, 2018 by

umglogoThe United Media Guild will hold a Local Meeting and awards ceremony starting at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 6 at Lombardo’s Restaurant at the Drury Inn Union Station.

The meeting is open to all members in good standing. Beverages will be provided (beer, wine, soft drinks, coffee) and an appetizer buffet will be served free of charge. Members can purchase cocktails on their own.

After tending to a small amount of Local business, the UMG will present its Guilder of the Year, Activist of the Year and Steward of the Year awards to individual members and its Solidarity Award to an entire unit.

The UMG also expects to honor the winner of its annual Terry Hughes Award for exemplary journalism.

Please RSVP the Guild office by leaving a message at 314-241-7046 or by e-mailing office manager Rachel Zaron at rzaron@unitedmediaguild.org.

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Nominations sought for Terry Hughes Award

Dec 6, 2017 by

Terry Hughes was 36 when she died of breast cancer on July 22, 1991.  A columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, her writing was clear, witty and descriptive, with a flair for portraying society’s underdogs.  Some of her columns chronicled the bouts with cancer that she and others faced.  One column was credited with helping persuade the Missouri Legislature to approve a bill forcing insurers to pay for mammograms.

One of the many readers who wrote to the newspaper after her death

Joel Currier, past Terry Hughes Award winner

described her work this way: “Her columns were full of real life stories that touched us all and even changed our way of thinking or even our lives.”

The United Media Guild has established a writing award in the name of Ms. Hughes.  The award is intended to honor a journalist whose writing shows the talent that she displayed.

Any journalist in the metropolitan St. Louis area who has written for a daily or weekly newspaper, a magazine or an on-line publication is eligible.

Single articles of extraordinary merit will be considered.  Preference will be given to entries of between three and ten articles that display the writer’s range of talent.

Articles must have been published in 2017.  There are no formal applications.  Anyone may submit a nomination by sending copies of articles to:

The Terry Hughes Award Committee

United Media Guild

1015 Locust St.

Suite 735

St. Louis, Mo.  63101

The deadline for applications is Friday, January 5, 2018.  The panel of judges is comprised of previous award winners. The award will be presented by the United Media Guild at its quarterly Local Meeting in late January or early February.

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Los Angeles Times journalists seek to unionize with The NewsGuild-CWA

Dec 6, 2017 by

The NewsGuild-CWA is fighting to preserve the craft of journalism and improve working conditions for journalists across North America.

Journalists at news organizations large and small have come to TNG-CWA seeking to unionize. Recently the Los Angeles Times newsroom filed for an representation election for the union with the National Labor Relations Board.

The organizing drive was a collaborative effort between TNG-CWA, CWA District 9 and various local TNG-CWA unions. Among the activists participating in the drive was United Media Guild vice president David Carson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“The Los Angeles Times is a great paper, and it will only be better with a democratic newsroom,” TNG-CWA president Bernie Lunzer said. “This is a chance to have a seat at the table.”

TNG-CWA already represents journalists at the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Associated Press and several other major metropolitan newspapers — including the Boston Globe, Providence Journal, Baltimore Sun, Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, Chicago Sun-Times, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Memphis Commercial Appeal, Denver Post, Minneapolis Star-Tribune and San Francisco Chronicle.

The United Media Guild, a local union in TNG-CWA, represents employees at the Post-Dispatch, Peoria Journal Star, State Journal-Register, Rockford Register Star and Pekin Daily Times as well as the St. Louis Review, St. Louis Labor Tribune and the national Truthout digital publication.

UMG also helped initiate the successful organizing drives at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and Lakeland Ledger in Florida.

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Fight For 15 Workers join UMG

Nov 29, 2017 by

The United Media Guild has proudly represented fast food organizers since the early days of the “Fight For 15” movement. Most recently we were the staff union for the (then) Mid-South Organizing Committee staffers in Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana.

“Fight For 15” is the international movement of underpaid workers taking a stand against poverty wages. The activists we’ve represented have worked the front lines of that battle.

So the UMG is pleased to announced we now represent organizers coast to coast in the consolidated national fast food campaign.

Welcome the newest members of the United Media Guild!

Recently, UMG business representative Shannon Duffy and NewsGuild-CWA organizer Melinda Fiedler met with organizers in Washington D.C. and collected signed membership cards from a vast majority of them.

Then, on Nov. 29 the UMG was deemed to have majority status during a card check procedure, which is a simple and easy way for an employer and a union to determine if a majority of workers wish to be represented by a union. The card check was performed by a trusted third party neutral, Rabbi Susan Talve, in her office at the Central Reform Congregation in St. Louis.

Welcome aboard sisters and brothers!

Soon we will start bargaining their initial collective bargaining agreement with the National Fast Food Workers Union (an affiliate of SEIU).

 This National Fast Food Workers Union (aka “Fight For 15”) unit joins Missouri Jobs With Justice and the Workers Interfaith Network of Memphis as social justice groups represented by the UMG.

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Annual Retiree/Alumni Luncheon set for Nov. 28

Nov 7, 2017 by

The United Media Guild will hold its annual retiree/alumni members luncheon at noon, Nov. 28 at Lombardo’s Restaurant at 201 S. 20th Street in St. Louis. (The restaurant is located in the lower level of the Drury Inn Union Station.)

The luncheon is free for our retiree/alumni members. The price for guests is $15. There will be a cash bar for beer, wine and mixed drinks. There is free parking for restaurant customers in the garage behind the hotel.

Please RSVP by leaving a message at 314-241-7046 or by e-mailing business manager Rachel Zaron at rzaron@unitedmediaguild.org by Nov. 21.

If you used to work at one of the units we represent and would like to become a retiree/alumni member, please contact the UMG office. Annual retiree/alumni dues are $12.

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