October 27, 2016

Journalists at The Baltimore Sun are crying foul after being passed over for a company-wide raise.

In a post on Medium Thursday, the Baltimore Sun Guild protested that its newsroom, among the biggest in Tronc’s nationwide chain, was excluded from a 2.5 percent raise because it is unionized.

While Tronc and our possible future owner, Gannett, debate the millions of dollars that could change hands in a sale of The Sun and its sister papers, the reporters, photographers, community coordinators and copy editors who produce the Sun are asking for our share.

In June, Tronc announced the raise across its portfolio of newspapers, with the exception of its unionized newsrooms. David Folkenflik, NPR’s media correspondent, said the move was a bid to give newsroom leaders “a win” after a five-year drought in pay bumps.

In its statement, the Baltimore Sun Guild cited their performance in the recent Pulitzer Prize contest — finalist nods for breaking news reporting and editorial writing — as among reasons employees deserve increased salaries.

We don’t think it’s fair when we — like everyone in our business these days  —  are working harder than ever to cover and serve our community with fewer resources.

In a statement, The Baltimore Sun told Poynter that it had a pre-existing contract agreement with the Washington-Baltimore News Guild before the salary increases were announced in June.

“In February, The Baltimore Sun and the Washington-Baltimore News Guild agreed to a three-year contract extension, which continues annual and guaranteed salary increases to eligible guild employees,” the statement reads. “We respect that contract. We are proud of the journalism our staff provides each day. In August, The Sun offered a proposal that would provide salary increases to a wider group of newsroom guild employees but no agreement has been reached.”

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Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of Poynter.org. He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism…
Benjamin Mullin

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