Indianapolis News Guild (one of two bargaining units comprising Local No. 34070) is a member in good standing of The Newspaper Guild/Communications Workers of America, and is affiliated with the Great Lakes District chapter. We’re also members of the AFL-CIO and the Central Indiana Labor Council. The Guild represents around 42 full-time employees of the Indianapolis Star. Local 34070 also represents a bargaining unit of around 35 full-time employees of the Louisville Courier Journal in Kentucky, which became certified with the NLRB by workplace election in late 2022.
EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF TNG-CWA 34070
President, Jenna Watson. First vice president, Binghui Huang. Second Vice President, Arika Herron. Secretary/Treasurer, Kayla Dwyer.
HISTORY OF THE GUILD
The Indianapolis Newspaper Guild was chartered in 1936, and has had a contract since 1937. The original contract was three pages long and only covered the newsroom. The jobs that have always been covered are the following: librarian, copy messenger, copy editor, reporter, photographer. The only two jobs that have not changed their name in the past 70 years are reporter and photographer. In 1947, the janitors were added to the Guild. Maids were added to the contract in 1950, at a lower pay scale. In 1972, the maids and the janitors were combined to a single classification with a single pay scale, and were called cleaning personnel. In 1972, the maids and the janitors were combined into a single classification of “cleaning personnel” with a single pay scale, which was slightly higher than either maids or janitors had been getting. The department is now called building services. The Guild eventually covered many employees who worked for the Indianapolis Star, including display advertising, classified advertising, circulation, business office, and promotion department. In the late 1970s, several departments decertified from the Guild, leaving just the newsroom and building services. Now, the newsroom is called the Information Center, and the Guild covers all non-managers who work in the Information Center, including online producers and multi-media editors. The Guild contract has always covered wages and hours. Our current contract also covers outside activity, seniority, benefits, vacation, PL days. In 1951, an arbitration option was added to our contract. That means that if there was a dispute that wasn’t settled after a grievance was filed, the Guild could take the dispute to an impartial arbitrator — rather than having to consider going on strike. In 1994, a no-strike / no lockout clause was added to the contract, meaning that as long as there is a contract or a contract is being bargained, there will be no strikes and no lockouts. This particular Guild has never gone on strike or been locked out. Before 1937, there wasn’t overtime pay. Now, you get overtime pay at the rate of time-and-a-half for working over 40 hours in a week, and by contract, you also get overtime pay for working over 8 hours in a day. Current contract also includes an option for working four 10-hour days per week, with overtime for those people if they should work over 10 hours in one day. There is also a call-back provision in our contract, meaning that if you leave work after a full shift and get called back to work, you’ll get a minimum of 3 1/2 hours of overtime pay (even if you don’t work 3 1/2 hours). Days off must be regular and consecutive, and you get two weeks notice if your days off are changed. In 2011, page design work was moved to the Gannett Design Center in Louisville and, in 2016, copy editing work was moved there as well. At the start of 2021, digital production work was moved to the Midwest Digital Optimization Center, a remote operation. In late 2022, the Midwest Digital Optimization Center was closed down by Gannett and two of its remaining producers were transferred to become employees of the Indianapolis Star, thus becoming members of our bargaining unit.