Indianapolis News Guild members hold funeral expired contract

Members of the Indianapolis News Guild held a funeral service on Wednesday to memorialize their collective bargaining agreement, which expired September 1, 2020.

They gathered in the newsroom dressed in black and took turns sharing eulogies, accompanied by bagpipes playing “Amazing Grace.” Below the photo gallery, the Guild’s contract is memorialized in an obituary written by Guild vice president Binghui Huang.

As the two year anniversary of the contract’s expiration approaches, the Guild continues to push for a fair contract for journalists at IndyStar.

In loving memory…

The Indianapolis News Guild contract, of Indianapolis, died on September 1, 2020.

Born out of the hard work and desire for a safe and happy workplace, the contract lived a hard life. She was held back from achieving her full potential by Gannett, the parent company of the IndyStar employees she represented.

All she ever wanted was to protect IndyStar journalists from unfair treatment, ensure they were paid fairly and equitably, provide lifesaving health care and give them a voice in making decisions about their work lives. 

But at a young age, Gannett started to strip away her power.

She watched as the company forced pay cuts. She watched as part of her work, work that was rightfully hers, was later transferred to a new “digital optimization team.”

A few years before her death, the healthcare insurance she provided was taken away, which meant some journalists had to pay thousands more annually for insurance. She never recovered from that. 

As journalists fought to keep her strong, the company sought to gut her more. As she was weakened, so was the newsroom, its journalism and the public accountability that Indianapolis desperately needed. 

We mourn your expiration, contract. 

You ensured we were paid a bare minimum. You gave us some control over our schedules. You made it easier to work this stressful job and have a family. You made sure we had a voice when things changed, as they inevitably do. You made sure we were treated fairly. 

We look forward to the day when a new contract is ratified in your honor.

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