Pacific Media Workers Guild, The Newspaper Guild, Communications Workers of America, Local 39521, AFL-CIO, CLC
Guild Freelancers unit
General meeting, 11/8/2017
Unit General Meeting Notes
1. Update on recent/past organizing and advocacy:
*Update from Know Your Rights workshop, organized by four photographers
50 people attended
Signed up new/possible members for freelance unit
*Chapter supported two freelancers whose press passes were not respected; Carl Hall wrote letter to Berkeley police department.
*Union was present at the March Against Hate, with banner
*Future work: planning a contract negotiation workshop, negotiating IP/republication rights and rates. Tentatively scheduled for Jan. 2018
2. Update from CWA liaison
Organizing at Los Angeles Times.
Offer of help/assistance from freelancer unit. Trip to LA for picketing/visibility?
3. Organizing committee update
Next organizing committee meeting: 11/14, 4 p.m.
Key question: How can freelancers for newspapers/publications with active units/units in active bargaining be included?
Action item: Create/maintain list of freelance contributors to said newspapers/publications.
Possible action item: Create internally held list of editors for freelancers to pitch, as another benefit of membership.
Question: Do we hold a “how to pitch” event?
4. Press pass update.
Key point: Barrier for acquiring one is low. Any photographer or writer with some published work can acquire one.
Action item: Appoint a “press pass czar” responsible for receiving paperwork from freelancers and passing it on to the union (i.e. Wendy).
5. Bill’s Bay News Rising update
Seven-week paid internship program for third-year college students studying journalism. Six participants this past summer, from SF State, CCSF, and Laney College. Students this year made a bargaining unit—and were paid to go to class.
This is a dues-funded program. Costs were cut in part by having Carl assist with the program.
Action items going forward: Hold outreach events to advertise program/organize new membership for freelance unit
Question: Organizing opportunity at area journalism schools, i.e. UC Berkeley’s masters program?
6. Minimum rate campaign.
Discussion of working on a campaign for a minimum rate in 2018.
Broad support for such a campaign, as a recruitment and visibility tool and on the principle.
Open questions: What the rate will be, how to calculate it, from whom will it be demanded.
Mentioned: a “Fair to Freelancers” seal in publications/on their websites, for organizations who adhere to our minimum rates
Mentioned: Union’s purchase of a “[Insert Publication Name here] is fair to workers” ad space in publications who adhere to minimum rates
Much more discussion/action/organizing to come.
7. Leadership nominations:
*Nomination of two co-chairs to lead unit
Unanimous nominees: Brooke Anderson and David Bacon
*Nomination of member to Representative Assembly
Nominee: Bill Snyder