What We’re Up To
In August 2023, after more than two years of negotiations, the 45-member bargaining unit at FT Specialist overwhelmingly ratified their first union contract. The three-year agreement includes a first-of-its-kind Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) clause, new salary minimums and annual increases, and agreement that the Company would not use mandatory arbitration or post-employment non-competes, among other highlights.
Why We’re Organizing
January 20, 2021
FT Specialist’s US-based editorial employees have chosen to unionize with the Writers Guild of America, East. With a supermajority of card-signing support, we are committed to safeguarding FT Specialist’s culture. Indeed, as one of our veteran colleagues recently advised us, we intend to “jealously guard” it. We want to strengthen it by adhering to best practices–in terms of transparency, equity, fair pay, benefits, and employee protections–all of which we identify as essential for the company to thrive.
FT Specialist succeeds when it maintains a collaborative, innovative, and nurturing workplace. By voluntarily embracing the union, management and employees will create together the safe space for all to engage and participate fully in further developing and building such a workplace.
The playing field for digital media companies changes quickly. Fast footwork is required for FT Specialist to prosper. And our parent company has for many months held that “capitalism needs to be reset.” Our union will ensure that editorial employees, thanks to their greater sense of ownership and control, will be empowered to help FT Specialist discover and deploy more efficient and effective tactics to meet its business goals.
By negotiating a contract collectively, we aim to protect all FT Specialist’s US editorial employees and help our parent company fully recognize our significant contributions to the corporation’s bottom line. Our collectively bargained agreement will show, in the public square, the commitment that FT Specialist managers and editorial employees have made to the business values we extol on our websites.
Transparency and Communication:
We want to make sure that management is communicating and consulting with employees about major decisions, especially in times of crisis. We want mechanisms in place to hold management accountable for its promises.
Equitable and Fair Compensation:
We are seeking respectable salary floors for each position, reasonable cost of living adjustments, a clear, consistent system for performance reviews and raises, a strong commitment to diversity in hiring, and the erasure of any gender- or race-based wage gaps that may exist across positions.
Benefits and Severance:
We want to make sure our freelance colleagues are correctly classified and receive the benefits to which they are entitled. And we are asking for clear policies on parental leave, flexible and remote working, termination, and guaranteed minimum severance payments, based on years worked at FT Specialist.
A collectively negotiated contract will liberate FT Specialist and its editorial employees, by instilling confidence that all share a fair and equitable workplace where concerns are addressed transparently. This is no negative statement of any one manager or supervisor but an affirmative statement of forging our collective future. When FT Specialist’s managers recognize our union and sign a contract that codifies their pledges to treat all with dignity, fairness, and respect, those documented assurances will strip away misunderstandings and allow us together to report, write, edit, and produce journalism that outpaces rivals’ in every way, every day.
The union’s win is the company’s win.