VICE Ratifies Four Contracts with the Writers Guild of America, East
NEW YORK, NY (January 7, 2019) – The Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) and VICE Media have negotiated four contracts that continue to improve work life for union members at VICE.
The collective bargaining agreements were overwhelmingly ratified by the Guild-represented staffs at VICE Editorial, VICE News, VICELAND and Vice Digital, representing the company’s extraordinary reach across multiple platforms – from nightly television news to weekly documentaries to nonfiction TV series to real-time digital news, both written and video.
The VICE Editorial agreement renews the contract first ratified in 2016; the rest are first-time agreements for people who create content at the company’s other online and television platforms.
“Collective bargaining ensures that WGAE-represented employees have the opportunity to discuss what’s most important in their work lives, what needs to be changed and what needs to be strengthened,“ said Lowell Peterson, Executive Director of the Writers Guild of America, East. “We are very pleased by the concrete gains negotiated for people who craft content on the entire range of platforms, and we look forward to a productive relationship with VICE management for years to come.”
The parties share a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in both staff and coverage. Further, the contracts establish new and expanded companywide policies and practices, including codifying anti-harassment and anti-bias policies and trainings, stipulating gender pronoun use in the workplace, providing gold standard benefits for transgender and people that identify as gender non-conforming, enacting explicit protections against online harassment and a commitment to interviewing diverse candidates for open positions. The contracts also include robust non-discrimination language pertaining to race, gender identify, socio-economic status, criminal convictions and more.
Additional highlights from the four contracts include:
- Guaranteed salary increases in each year of the contract;
- New minimums and grades making significant gains to raise up lower paid employees and raise standards at all levels;
- A committee to address and discuss engagement of freelance contributors;
- Editorial independence;
- Just cause and union security;
- Allowance for employees to bring a union representative to report potential harassment complaints.
The VICE Bargaining Committee added, “As our efforts and those of our fellow workers across the labor movement have proven time and time again, organizing a union and building collective power works. We are stronger together, and that strength is more needed now than ever before. There is power in a union, and we urge everyone—everywhere—to organize. Now is the time.”
ABOUT WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA, EAST
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 wgaeast.org.