Employees at Gawker Media have approved a union deal with the company’s management.
In June, the company’s writers, editors and video producers formed a union with the Writers Guild of America, East, in order to negotiate a contract for employees across its network of sites, including Jezebel, Gawker and Deadspin.
The results of those collective bargaining efforts were revealed Monday afternoon in a memo from Gawker chief executive officer Nick Denton, president and general counsel Heather Dietrick and executive editor John Cook.
The deal includes a 9 percent raise for all editorial employees over three years; at-will employment, and a “fair and transparent” wage structure guaranteeing minimum salaries for specific job categories, including a minimum starting salary of $50,000 a year. Workers will get severance amounting to two weeks per year of service, a health plan and 401K matching locked in at current levels; the institution of a monthly meeting between management and representatives of the bargaining unit, and the creation of a diversity committee to “encourage inclusive hiring and management practices.”
Gawker said it will add an “independence clause ratifying an Editorial Code agreed to by all Gawker Media editorial employees and barring the removal of any post without a majority vote of the executive editor, general counsel and ceo of the company.”
Calling the deal “the first of its kind in the digital news business,” management touted the contract’s “quality benefits,” “fair wages” and “security” offered to employees.
“It will likewise ensure that Gawker Media’s management retains the flexibility to run the business effectively in a fast-paced and fluid environment,” management offered. “The agreement is the result of occasionally intense but always collegial negotiation, and preserves the autonomy, agility, honesty, and editorial freedom that has made Gawker Media the largest independent voice in digital media.