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Breaking news, press releases and statements from the Writers Guild of America, East

Tuesday December 7, 2021

The Intercept Ratifies Second Contract with the Writers Guild of America, East

NEW YORK, NY (December 7, 2021) – The 30-member editorial staff at The Intercept, the investigative journalism digital news site, last night ratified its second union contract with the Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO (WGAE).

The Intercept bargaining committee said, “We’re excited that this contract will push the bar forward for other shops, in particular, emphasizing pay equity and new mental health benefits that acknowledge the crisis for workers in the news industry. This contract shows that with solidarity and determination, we can win substantial gains for dignity and respect in the workplace. To all workers in bargaining, stay strong and you can win. To all workers without a union, organize!

The three-year collective bargaining agreement provides many significant gains, including salary minimums increases of at least $10,000 to all job tiers, 3-month paid professional leave, 5 months paid parental leave, and pay equity salary adjustments as high as $11,200, with commitments to do an annual review to continue to address pay equity. 

Additional contract gains include:

  • Across-the-board annual wages increase by 3.25% for the majority of the unit, and 3% for top-tier unit members;
  • 3 months paid professional leave with health benefits after 8 years of service; 1 month unpaid professional leave every 5 years with health benefits;
  • 5 months of fully paid parental leave;
  • New mental health benefits stipend ($100/month);
  • Sick time on short-term disability fully paid up to 3 months after 3 years, 2 months after 2 years, and 1 month after 1 year;
  • Increased cellphone and internet stipend;
  • Increase in derivative works bonus;
  • Strengthened language on nondiscrimination, harassment protections, and diversity, including the end of nondisclosure agreements (NDAs); 
  • Limits on use of contractors and conversion to staff for contractors working over 12 months;
  • 11 weeks minimum severance for all employees and additional weeks for longer service with no cap;
  • All gender neutral bathrooms in the office;
  • Successor clause that stipulates the union contract remains effective in the event the company is sold.

Lowell Peterson, Executive Director of the Writers Guild of America, East, added, “The Intercept’s bargaining committee worked diligently to translate employees’ concerns and aspirations into substantial gains in the collective bargaining agreement. This hard work and resolve of the unit members led to a strong second contract that addresses diversity and inclusion, transparency and fairness in pay and job duties, and meaningful ongoing engagement in workplace decisions.”

The Writers Guild of America, East represents nearly 7,000 writers in film, television, news (broadcast and digital), and podcasts. In addition to The Intercept, the WGAE represents newsrooms at 1010 WINS, ABC News, Audacy (WCBS-AM, WBBM-AM, KNX-AM), Bustle Digital Group, CBS News, CBSN, Chalkbeat, Committee to Protect Journalists, The Dodo, Fast Company, Fox 5 WNYW-TV, FT Specialist, Future Plc, Gizmodo Media Group, Hearst Magazines, HuffPost, Inc., Jewish Currents, MSNBC, MTV News, NowThis, Onion Inc.  , Refinery29, Salon, Slate, Talking Points Memo, Thirteen Productions (Thirteen/WNET), Thrillist, VICE, Vox Media and WBBM-CBS 2 News. 

The Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO (WGAE) is a labor union representing writers in film, television, news and new media. The Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members; conducts programs, seminars and events on issues of interest to writers; and presents writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit


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