Washington State NewsGuild calls on McClatchy to release cost of living raises

WASHINGTON STATE - On Feb. 5, journalists in all McClatchy newsrooms received an email from Senior VP of News Kristin Roberts pledging to institute a minimum salary in all newsrooms to reflect the rising costing of living, which will take effect March 1. Despite the crisis of the ongoing pandemic, McClatchy has announced its intent to withhold those raises from Washington journalists, claiming our ongoing union drive prevents the company from providing this money. They alone are choosing not to give us these raises. 

The journalists of the Washington State NewsGuild are calling on McClatchy to release these funds, which would result in new hourly pay minimums of $20.19 or $21.63, depending on the market. These new proposed salary minimums, which would result in pay increases for at least nine Washington journalists, are long overdue. McClatchy’s refusal to release this money unfairly punishes our union of hardworking journalists who are providing a public service in the middle of a pandemic.

These salary increases are potentially life changing to the journalists who would be eligible to receive them -- all at a cost of less than $50,000 a year to the company.  Our journalists are increasingly facing the risk of not being able to afford to live in the communities that we serve. This is unacceptable and negatively impacts our work. It is not sustainable and must change. 

Meanwhile, we continue to wait from the National Labor Relations Board on a decision regarding the makeup of our union. McClatchy has likely poured tens of thousands of dollars into fighting our union and obstructing our right to fair wages and appropriate representation -- money that could go to its journalists instead. McClatchy’s time and resources would be far better spent reinvesting in our newsrooms that are continuing to serve our communities with robust reporting.

We call on the company to release the raises.