The Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh to offer two $2,000 scholarships to journalism students in Western Pennsylvania

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The Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh Local 38061 is offering two scholarships for $2,000 each to fourth semester undergraduates – and up — majoring in journalism or related fields, with a strictly local focus.

Those who have completed at least three semesters and live in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Washington or Westmoreland Counties – or attend colleges or universities in these counties – should submit an application and supporting materials by Mon., March 4, 2019.

Applications may be sent through the mail, but email packages will also be considered. Send digital copies to scholarship chairperson Courtney Linder at clinder@post-gazette.com.

Scholarship winners will be announced in mid-March and a reception will follow.

Since 1996, the Guild has awarded more than $50,000 in cash to undergrads preparing for careers in journalism. Funding for the Sally Kalson Scholarship awards comes for the annual production “Off the Record,” staged by the Guild, the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Radio and Television Artists.

For more information about the Sally Kalson Scholarship from the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh or to download requirements and an application, visit pghguild.com/scholarship.

-Courtney Linder, scholarship chairperson

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Refuses to Publish Letter to the Editor From Newsroom Employees Decrying Recent Misogynistic Editorial Cartoons

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The Guild just received notice that the Post-Gazette will not publish this Letter to the Editor from the Executive Committee of the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh on behalf of 150 Post-Gazette newsroom employees.


Jan 21, 2019

To the Editor:

We write you on the one-year anniversary of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette publishing what was widely considered in our community to be a racist editorial. In response, the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh broke with more than eight decades of not weighing in on editorial positions and wrote a letter to the editor, which the PG refused to publish. We did so because the editorial was so repugnant and outrageous that we would be remiss as human beings and as employees of this newspaper not to speak out.

Sadly, one year later, we find ourselves in the same position. This time, the publication of three misogynistic editorial cartoons within a week has disgraced the reputation of the newspaper we and the community love. The cartoons display a contempt for women and an obvious deep-seated prejudice against them. The cartoons are not witty, insightful or funny. They are a puerile recycling of ridiculous, outdated and hurtful tropes about women that have rightfully brought scorn upon this newspaper.

Did you not read the letters to the editor that were highly critical of the first two cartoons? Why would there be a third one on Sunday? Do you even care that, as they did following the racist editorial, subscribers and advertisers are cutting ties with us?

Our editorial page should reflect our community. It should treat everyone with dignity, respect and human kindness. It should engender thoughtful discussion about issues we face. These cartoons do none of that. They are misogynistic, pure and simple. This cannot stand. It is wrong, it is hateful, it is a disgrace.

The 150 talented, dedicated, committed newsroom employees represented by the Newspaper Guild respectfully request this childish, unseemly, intellectually dishonest behavior cease immediately. Only then can we attempt to re-establish the respect for this newspaper that your actions may have irreparably harmed.

Sincerely,

Michael A. Fuoco, President
Jonathan D. Silver, Unit Chairman
and members of The Newspaper Guild Executive Committee

Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh statement on David Shribman’s retirement

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Post-Gazette executive editor David Shribman announced this morning that he is retiring at the end of the year after 16 years on the job. David has always been a friend to the newsroom and we’re left wondering, “What happens now?”

As we enter 2019 in our 23rd month of contract negotiations, and with the Post-Gazette refusing to pay our 5% health care premium increase for the second straight year, what does turnover at the top mean?

We can only hope the Blocks use common sense and replace David with someone who will fight for PG journalists and not be a yes-person to BCI.

On the ground: Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh members leaflet outside of a Post-Gazette sponsored health care forum

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See the Guild press release:


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(Melissa Tkach)

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Post-Gazette newsroom employees leaflet for second straight week in protest of illegally slashes health-care benefits, 13 years without a raise

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For the second consecutive week, members of the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh—all of them newsroom employees at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette–distributed leaflets today, protesting 13 years without a raise and two straight years during which the company has defied federal law by refusing to pay health-care premium increases.

Guild members distributed leaflets outside of a Post-Gazette-sponsored “Health Forum” at the Champions Club in Heinz Field. The free forum was promoted as examining why a country of great wealth nonetheless has “great disparities in the health of our citizens and in access to health resources.” More info on the health-care forum can be found here:

In October, an administrative law judge agreed with the regional director of the National Labor Relations Board that the Post-Gazette violated federal law by not paying a 5% increase in the 2018 health care premium for 400 unionized employees at the newspaper. The judge ordered the company to pay the premium increase and to reimburse those adversely affected by the company’s improper decision.

Instead, the PG appealed the ruling to the full NLRB in Washington, D.C. Additionally, it told the unions it will not pay another 5 percent increase set for 2019. Another NLRB Unfair Labor Practice will be filed against the company, said Michael A. Fuoco, a PG enterprise reporter and president of the 150-member Newspaper Guild.

“We find it incredibly hypocritical that the Post-Gazette would sponsor a forum on health-care disparities when it has chosen to illegally slash the health-care benefits of about 400 members of the Guild and other PG unions,” Fuoco said. “The Post-Gazette has unilaterally created a health-care disparity for its workers in defiance of the rule of law.”

The reporters, photographers, copy editors and other newsroom employees who leafleted were also protesting a long-standing 8 percent cut in wages, 13 years without a raise, and working without a contract for 22 months with no end in sight. The PG has hired a union-busting law firm from Nashville to handle its negotiations..

“It’s time Block Communications Inc. Chairman Allan Block and his twin brother, PG Publisher John Robinson Block, start acting as ethical stewards of a 232-year-old newspaper and treat quality journalists with dignity, fairness and respect,” said Fuoco, a 34-year PG employee. “To deny us raises for 13 years and to cause our health-care benefits to be cut two years in a row is unconscionable.

“Our fight for economic justice will not end until the Blocks face the reality we are not going away until we get what we deserve–a fair and equitable contract.”

Last week, Guild members leafleted outside the Omni William Penn Hotel before Publisher John Robinson Block addressed a noon Rotary luncheon inside.

The Guild, and other unions at the Post-Gazette, have been separately negotiating for new individual contracts since the last ones expired in March 2017.

Post-Gazette newsroom employees leaflet Downtown as PG publisher speaks at noon luncheon

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About 30 members of the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh—all of them newsroom employees at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette–distributed leaflets today protesting 13 years without a raise and two straight years in which the company is defying federal law in not paying health care premium increases.

Nearly 500 leaflets (please see attached) were distributed in 45 minutes outside the Omni William Penn Hotel before Publisher John Robinson Block addressed a noon Rotary luncheon inside. The Guild, and other unions at the Post-Gazette, have been separately negotiating for new individual contracts since the last ones expired in March 2017. The Post-Gazette, owned by BCI, has been using a union-busting law firm from Tennessee in negotiations with all the unions.

“This is but the first of many planned mobilization efforts to more visibly express our displeasure with the way John Block and his twin brother, Allan Block, chairman of  Toledo,Ohio-based Block Communications Inc., have treated us for 13 years,” said Michael A. Fuoco, a 35-year reporter at the paper and president of the Newspaper Guild, which represents 150 newsroom employees.

“All we are asking is to be treated with the dignity and respect we’ve earned with our talent, loyalty and dedication. To deny us raises for 13 years and to cause our health care benefits to be cut two years in a row is unconscionable. They need to change and fast.

“Today we put the Blocks on notice we are not going away. There will be no deaths by a thousand cuts. More and escalated protests will follow unless and until they finally do the right thing and negotiate fair and equitable contracts with loyal employees,” Fuoco said.

“Yes, the Post-Gazette loses money, but BCI is a profitable communications corporation built upon the one-time profits of the Post-Gazette. Moreover, there is a social compact for owning a 232-year-old Pittsburgh institution. They should be fair employers of journalists upon whose work democracy depends.”

Guild fighting for a fair contract

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Members of the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh are handing out flyers in Downtown Pittsburgh this morning outside the Omni William Penn where publisher John Robinson Block is speaking.

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Screenshot_2018-12-05 Jonathan Silver on Twitter Guild members are hard af work leafleting this morning in pursuit of a fai[...](1)

Guild President Mike Fuoco is being interviewed by @905wesa about @PittsburghPG’s labor situation.

Screenshot_2018-12-05 Jonathan Silver on Twitter Guild members are hard af work leafleting this morning in pursuit of a fai[...](2)

Here @KDKA is interviewing Guild President Mike Fuoco about our labor situation.

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Guild members are hard af work leafleting this morning in pursuit of a fair contract with @PittsburghPG.

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PG Guild Flyer color