Vice Media, Writers Guild Reach Landmark New Contract

Vice Media has agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement with the Writers Guild of America, East, that consolidates the company’s four previous union contracts into one agreement. The new three-year collective bargaining agreement was ratified last week by Vice’s 160-member bargaining unit, the Guild announced in a press release on Friday.

The new agreement codifies workplace benefits and protections from four previous contracts, and also includes new elements including:

  • A retention bonus of $1,000 for anyone on payroll at ratification and on January 1, 2023, to be paid out with first payroll after that date. 
  • A ban on nondisclosure agreements that apply to sexual-harassment complaints.
  • Cybersecurity and harassment protections including laid-off employees up to one year. Vice will also provide safe housing/security measures for employees at the recommendation of the security team.
  • Increased severance terms with guaranteed severance of up to 18 weeks.
  • New successor language in the contract.
  • All non-Vice-payrolled employees are offered a pathway to full-time employment after a 12-month period.
  • Contributions by the employer to the employee health flex plan for non-Vice-payrolled employees goes up to $22 per day over the life of the contract.

“Thanks to a unified and strong union, workers across Vice will now work under one collective bargaining agreement, said Lowell Peterson, executive director of the Writers Guild of America, East. “This new contract and its substantial gains are a testament to the Vice bargaining committee’s diligent efforts to address the concerns and aspirations of workers at a company that continues to grow within the ever-shifting media landscape.”

The Vice Bargaining Committee issued a statement: “The Vice union is stronger than ever, and is proud of our members for coming together and fighting for our third and best contract yet.”

Previously, the union had four contracts at Vice, representing four main editorial verticals: Viceland, Vice News, Vice Digital, and Vice Editorial. The new agreement unites all four units working under one contract with minimum salaries set to increase to $63,000 by the end of the contract, and with all unit members receiving minimum yearly raises ranging from 3% to 3.75%.

The Writers Guild of America, East, represents nearly 7,000 writers in film, television, news (broadcast and digital), and podcasts. In addition to Vice, it represents newsrooms at 1010 WINS, ABC News, Audacy (WCBS-AM, WBBM-AM, KNX-AM), Bustle Digital Group, CBS News, CBSN, Chalkbeat, Committee to Protect Journalists, The Dodo, Fast Company, Fox 5 WNYW-TV, FT Specialist, Future Plc, Gizmodo Media Group, Hearst Magazines, HuffPost, Inc., The Intercept Jewish Currents, MSNBC, MTV News, NowThis, Onion Inc., Refinery29, Salon, Slate, Talking Points Memo, Thirteen Productions (Thirteen/WNET), Thrillist, Vox Media and WBBM-CBS 2 News.
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