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Vox Media Staff Ratifies First Union Contract, Negotiated by Writers Guild

Dave McNary

Staffers at Vox Media, which includes Curbed, Eater, Polygon, Recode, SB Nation, The Verge and Vox.com, have ratified their first collective bargaining agreement with more than 90% in support.

The staffers are represented by the Writers Guild of America East. Vox Media’s 350-member unit began bargaining their first contract in April 2018. The campaign to win a contract included a one-day walkout on June 6 and a 29-hour marathon bargaining session.

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Lowell Peterson, executive director of the WGA East, said, “This landmark contract achieves all the goals laid out when Vox Media employees organized with the WGAE, from their intent to enhance workplace culture and increase transparency to improving diversity and ensuring the editorial staff has a voice in decisions affecting work life. Great things happen when working people unite and act collectively. Congrats to the union bargaining committee and the entire unit for working so hard for so long.”

The three-year agreement includes a $56,000 minimum for exempt employees and a 3.5% retroactive raise to July 1, 2018. Employees who earn less than $95,000 will receive a 3.5% raise in the first year of the contract and 3.25% raises in the second year of the contract. The company committed that 40% of the applicant pool who make it beyond the phone interview stage for open bargaining unit positions will be from backgrounds that are traditionally underrepresented in journalism.

The WGA East began organizing digital media newsrooms four years ago with Gawker Media. The Guild now represents staffs at Fast Company, Talking Points Memo, ThinkProgress, HuffPost, The Intercept, Vice, Salon, Slate, CBSN, Gimlet Media, Refinery29, Thrillist, The Dodo, Onion Inc., Future plc, MTV News and Gizmodo Media Group.

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