Thousands of media employees have come together to unionize their workplaces and negotiate union contracts. Fundamentally, the demand of any group of workers forming a union is the same – to win a formal seat at the table in order to negotiate over the future of their workplace and raise standards across their industry. The resulting union contracts offer security and protection against unilateral changes from management. Each group decides what to advocate for at the bargaining table as a union.
In television news, the difference between union and non-union environments is clear: when media workers have the ability to negotiate as a group, our workplaces are fairer with better compensation and paths to sustainable careers. Though priorities vary from workplace to workplace, the issues tend to revolve around the same categories. Media employees want to address core economic concerns, including: pay equity and transparency, preserving or improving benefits (health, retirement, etc.), regular and fair cost of living increases, working conditions (proper staffing and compensation for long hours through overtime/comp time), job security, and proper crediting. Creative professionals also negotiate to address workplace culture issues, including: diversity and equity, clear job descriptions with a path for promotion, corporate transparency and communication, and editorial policies and independence.