In a special election to fill the vacant seat of president, Lacretia Wimbley, a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter, defeated Guild second vice-president Melissa Tkach by a 55-52 vote.
Wimbley will assume the seat immediately and fill out the remainder of the 2020-21 term, which runs through Oct. 31, 2021.
A native of Jackson, Miss., and graduate of Mississippi State University, Wimbley has been with the Post-Gazette since 2016. In that time, she has worked as a copy desk intern, paginator, and currently works as an early-morning breaking news reporter.
“During my time here in Pittsburgh, I’ve observed from several angles the heroic efforts made by our TNG-CWA Local 38061 leaders as they have advocated for and fought to protect members in contract negotiations, on discrimination fronts and in other disputes,” said Wimbley.
“We are the Post-Gazette, and the legacy of this institution belongs not only to the Blocks, but to us, because we make it what it is. As journalists dedicated to our community, we must maintain our dignity and do so with grace, although not without a fire that signifies our worth.”
The election to fill the vacant seat came at a time of labor unrest at the Post-Gazette, and as the unionized full-time faculty members at Point Park University enter the last semester under their existing collective bargaining agreement.
In August, Guild members authorized a strike against the Post-Gazette with 74% approval after the Post-Gazette and its out-of-town, union-busting law firm, King & Ballow, illegally and unilaterally imposed working conditions onto the Newspaper Guild that eliminated major parts of the previous contract. The strike authorization vote was tied to unfair labor practice charges filed with the National Labor Relations Board based on bad-faith bargaining, unlawful declaration of an impasse and the unilateral imposition of working conditions.
Since then, Guild members have taken part in several mobilizing actions to build support as they fight to get back to the negotiating table and reach the goal of a fair and equitable contract with the company.
This fight centers around three major pillars: Respecting union journalists, strengthening local news in our region, and creating an inclusive newsroom that reflects that community that Guild journalists represent.
Full-time faculty at Point Park University started working under their first collective bargaining agreement in 2017 after years of court battles and negotiations in their initial organizing, and will be looking to begin bargaining with the university for their next contract in the coming months.
“I will work hard and passionately to lead us with a firm, level headedness – focused sharply on our goals to get the Blocks back to the negotiation table, to continue in efforts to have them remove King & Ballow, and to lift recently imposed conditions,” said Wimbley.
CONTACT: LACRETIA WIMBLEY