It’s “Fair Contract Friday” for the reporters, copy editors, designers and photographers of the Newspaper Guild of Detroit. The workers of The Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, Observer & Eccentric and others are trying to get a new contract with owner Gannett.
The two sides are back at the bargaining table and working slowly toward a new deal.
Detroit Free Press autos reporter Eric D. Lawrence is among those participating in negotiations.
“We don’t think that 3% in one year will actually even keep up with the cost of living. So we think it’s a pretty, pretty modest ask.” —Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press
The journalists in the News Guild are seeking an across-the-board wage increase. “We’re seeking an 3% increase in the first year and a little bit less in each of the succeeding years of a three-year contract request. We haven’t had an across-the-board wage increase since 2018.”
Lawrence says they’ve been on hold due to the pandemic but resumed talks earlier this year.
“One of the main issues, of course, for us right now is like everybody else’s inflation. And, we’re feeling the effects of that like other folks. A modest wage increase, we think is, is a pretty reasonable ask.”
Gannett CEO Mike Reid made over $7 million last year in salary, bonuses and stock options. Lawrence says that a 3% increase is a “modest ask” relatively speaking.
“It seems that if you can create a compensation package that large for for one person, you can certainly improve the status for folks who put the paper together and create stories and photos for the website. We don’t think that 3% in one year will actually even keep up with the cost of living. So we think it’s a pretty, pretty modest ask in comparison to what the company is investing in one person.”