WGAE: Huffington Staffers Approve Bargaining Agreement

Will get pay raises, shield from advertiser interference
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Staffers at the Huffington Post website have ratified their first collective bargaining agreement, according to Writers Guild of America East, which said the vote was nearly unanimous.

WGAE said the agreement results in major pay gains—no unit will get less than a 3% annual pay raise—protections of journalistic integrity and gives the editorial staff an ongoing voice.

To resolve what WGAE said had been some "below-market" pay issues, some employees will get as much as $20,000 over the life of the agreement.

The union says other highlights include not assigning editorial staffers to branded content of native advertising and protecting editorial content from advertiser interference, including a committee to enforce those; comp time for holidays and scheduled days off; newsroom diversity initiatives, with a committee to enforce those; revenue sharing for derivative works; and guaranteed severance for layoffs.

"This landmark agreement demonstrates that collective bargaining works,” said WGAE executive director Lowell Peterson of the agreement.

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