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Washington Post union reaches tentative agreement with management after 18 months of negotiations

By Liam Reilly, CNN

(CNN) — The Washington Post Guild, the union that represents roughly 1,000 of the newspaper’s staffers, reached a tentative agreement Friday on a new contract with the Post’s management, a breakthrough after a year and a half of protracted and, at times, contentious talks that spilled into public view.

“This is without question the best contract the Post Guild has won in half a century,” the union’s bargaining committee wrote in an email to members obtained by CNN. “Though it does not include everything we hoped to achieve, the bargaining committee supports ratifying this agreement, and we believe it will position our union to continue making The Post a better workplace in the next three years and beyond.”

The tentative agreement comes after 18 months of negotiations that prompted hundreds of the newspaper’s staffers to walk off the job in a historic 24-hour strike earlier this month to protest the deadlocked talks and staffing cuts. The new contract, the union said, guarantees employees’ essential rights, secures raises across the board, and nearly doubles salary floors for the lowest-paid employees at The Washington Post.

Under the tentative agreement, all union employees will receive an immediate $30 per week raise during the first payroll period of 2024. This increase will be combined with a 2.5% raise on April 1, as well as two additional 2% raises in both April 2025 and April 2026.

In recent months, the Post announced it planned to slash its workforce with 240 voluntary buyouts by the end of the year.  The union said members who are participating in the newspaper’s buyout program will also receive $500 bonuses when they sign their contracts. The Post, it said, also agreed to a 60-day notice period before amending the union’s current hybrid work arrangement.

Members of the union will hold a vote next week to determine whether they will ratify the tentative contract. A simple majority of voters is required to ratify the agreement.

In a statement Friday, The Washington Post confirmed it had reached a tentative agreement with the union.

“It has always been our goal to reach an agreement that addresses the needs of our employees and our business,” the newspaper said. “We are confident this contract provides both and appreciate the efforts of all who have worked to make this happen. We are hopeful the contract will be ratified next week.”

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