Talking Points Memo Editorial Staffers Ratify New WGA East Contract

The six-member editorial staff at Talking Points Memo has voted unanimously to ratify the WGA East’s new three-year contract with the political news website.

“The guild’s new collective bargaining agreement with Talking Points Memo raises the bar for online media workers, setting standards that keep up with cost-of-living expenses and the state of the industry,” said WGA East Executive Director Lowell Peterson. “It is rewarding, especially for guild members working at Talking Points Memo, to see a company live up to the values it espouses online.”

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The new contract will see the minimum salary go from $52,000 up to $65,000 in January 2025. Employees making below $75,000 will receive a 3.5% salary increase in each year of the contract, those making up to $100,000 will receive 3.25% annual salary increases, and staffers making over $100,000 will receive 3% annual salary increases.

The company also agreed to increase severance minimums from six weeks to eight, with two additional weeks per year after four years of employment. The severance cap has been increased from 12 weeks to 18, and parental leave was increased from 10 weeks to 16.

According to the guild, the contract also features new comp time language, more vacation days, additional money toward professional development, an increased cell phone stipend, improved health and safety standards, commitments to diversity and non-discrimination protections, among other gains.

“We’re thrilled to have won the fight for a contract that protects and improves working standards at Talking Points Memo,” the six-member bargaining unit said in a statement. “After eight months of bargaining, we have won key concessions from management that include industry-standard salary floors, a comp time policy that meets the needs of our unit, and annual increases that ensure members’ pay will keep pace with inflation. This contract would not have been possible without the solidarity and teamwork of the entire TPM unit. We’re proud of this contract, our unit, and WGAE, which helped to secure the provisions in this contract that all of our members deserve.”

This is the guild’s second contract with the company. In 2019, its 11-member editorial staff unanimously ratified their first union contract with the guild. A year earlier, they’d signed a letter expressing their intent to join the guild, and publisher Josh Marshall immediately recognized the WGA East as their bargaining representative.

In addition to Talking Points Media, the 7,000-member guild’s Online Media Sector includes Huffpost, Salon, Slate, Vice, Vox Media, Hearst Magazines, MTV News, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Gizmodo Media Group, BDG, Chalkbeat, Fast Company, FT Specialist, Future PLC, Jewish Currents, NowThis, Onion Inc., Refinery29, The Dodo, The Intercept and Thrillist.

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