The Huffington Post has ratified its first union contract to guarantee job security, raises, editorial independence and increased diversity.
Over 200 HuffPo editorial employees are now part of the Writers Guild of America East (WGAE), a union that represents about 4,000 media workers. Collective bargaining began between The Huffington Post and WGAE in late 2015.
Now, HuffPo claims to be the largest digital news site to unionize.
The contract has a provision that asserts editorial employees cannot be assigned to work on native advertising or branded content.
It also guarantees that employees will receive at least a 3% salary increase per year. In some cases, employees will receive increases of $10,000 to $20,000 over the course of the three-year contract, which solidifies new minimum salaries for newsroom job titles.
Additionally, the contract has specific clauses on comp time for employees, who work during holidays, and scheduled time off and severance in the event of layoffs. Employees will be given two months’ severance, plus an additional week’s pay for each year of service.
WGAE represents employees at Univision-owned Gizmodo Media Group (formerly Gawker), Fusion and The Root; ThinkProgress; and about 100 workers at Vice Media.
“This agreement is going to improve the lives of many of our peers, and make HuffPo an even better place to do great journalism,” The Huffington Post Bargaining Committee stated. “It shows what a newsroom can accomplish when it decides to come together and bargain collectively. We’re grateful to the company for working with us toward such a strong and fair first contract.”
HuffPost CEO Jared Grusd said he was “pleased” to work with WGAE to reach the agreement.
“We remain committed to providing growth opportunities for all of our talented and dedicated editorial and video staff to ensure The Huffington Post is the leading digital platform for news and information,” he stated.
WGAE also has ongoing talks with Salon Media, where employees are attempting to have their union recognized.