Labor Tribune ratifies new contract

labortribThe United Media Guild finalized its new collective bargaining agreement with the Labor Tribune, adding to its list of settlements in recent months.

The contract featured 3 percent raises this year and next year for the Labor Tribune’s one full-time editorial employee and $750 signing bonuses for all members.

The contract allows the Labor Tribune to freeze pension benefits for its employees. In exchange, the company will contribute the money that would have gone to the pension into employee 401K plans instead.

Initially that regular 401K contribution will be $51.21 per week for each employee. It will increase 3 percent each year going forward.

Here are some highlights of the other deals:

At the Mid-South Organizing Committee, the new contract codified work rules, spelled out job duties, created a phone policy — employees get reimbursement if they don’t use a committee-issued phone — and enhanced grievance and arbitration language.

The contract also calls for step increases over a two-year span for these fast food organizers, from $32,000 to $40,000. In addition, there is a $150 monthly stipend for Organizer 2s, a $250 monthly stipend for leads-in-training and communication specialists and $350 stipend for leads.

At Truthout, the big battle at this progressive digital program was over disciplinary protections, of all things. We were able to maintain key protections and gain staff raises if certain financial benchmarks are reached.

It also created a mechanism for employees to suggest fundraising improvements at the financially strapped operation.

Last year our members at Missouri Jobs with Justice agreed to a new deal that featured immediate pay increases of up to $4,000, then a 3 percent raise in 2016 and a 2 percent bump in 2017.