Our Achievements

Milestone achievements at The NewsGuild of New York under Peter Szekely’s leadership:

  • BARGAINING SUCCESSFULLY. Won strong contracts in the past year at Scholastic, Consumer Reports, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the Amsterdam News, WPIX, WGAE and The Nation, where we achieved a trend-setting four months of paid parental leave.
  • PROBING PAY EQUITY. Commissioned a study by our parent union, the Communications Workers of America, that found a pattern of pay inequities at The New York Times, based on race and sex. The study led to some pay adjustments and an ongoing discussion with management.
  • DEFENDING OUR RIGHTS. Vigorously enforced contracts, including that of Consumer Reports where, in a true test of the meaning of our cherished “just cause” provision, we got a journalist reinstated after he was fired simply for respectfully speaking his mind at a staff meeting.
  • GROWING OUR UNION. Invested in an aggressive organizing effort that led to winning representation of employees at three newsrooms including Law360. More campaigns are in the pipeline.
  • GETTING SUPPORT FOR GROWTH. Got a $500,000 grant for organizing digital journalists from the Communications Workers of America, which has contributed to part of our recent growth.
  • SAVING A JOURNALISTIC INSTITUTION. Launched a drive to save El Diario, America’s oldest Spanish language newspaper, with press conferences, testimony before the New York City Council, outreach to Latino groups, community organizations and other unions, and a reader-driven “What El Diario Means to Me” movement. The campaign has been so successful, even management is on board with it.
  • STEPPING UP COMMUNICATIONS. With our new communications specialist, stepped up our following and daily presence on social media, using drives that include a contract campaign at Reuters, an organizing drive at Law360 and a grass roots effort to save El Diario. Also increased our press hits and upgraded our website.
  • INVESTING IN OUR FUTURE. Eliminated one of two executive officer positions and redeployed those resources to the front lines to make our union bigger and stronger. Added an organizer, communications specialist, rep and mobilizer. The result has been more recruitment, more visibility and more member involvement and activism in our union. It’s an investment that will pay dividends down the road.
  • FORTIFYING MEMBER SOLIDARITY. In workplaces that needed to improve member involvement, vastly increased visits by Guild reps and mobilizers to restore a meaningful union presence there.
  • RESPONSIBLY INVESTING OUR ASSETS. Started a responsible investment program in 2008 that has yielded our union $1.75 million in gains so far, including $1.4 million in profits already taken.
  • SAVING THE TIMES HEALTH CARE FUND. With former Guild President Bill O’Meara, got member input and expert advice to come up with a rescue package for the jointly overseen health care fund at The New York Times in 2008, when management wanted to destroy it and move Guild members onto an inferior health plan. The Fund is still alive and well.
  • CREATING AN INNOVATIVE PENSION PLAN. With former Guild President Bill O’Meara, saved pension plans for members at The New York Times and Consumer Reports in 2012 by creating the trailblazing Adjustable Pension Plan, which guarantees lifetime monthly retirement benefits, but is no riskier for employers than a 401(k). The APP continues to cover members there.
  • BUILDING COMMUNITIES. Partnered with other groups on key projects. Worked with the New York City chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists to sponsor events like a social media training workshop and a Broadway outing. Also allied with other unions and community and Latino groups to save El Diario.