The L.A. Times has reached a tentative agreement with the union that represents the bulk of its non-management employees, the paper announced Wednesday.
The agreement follows more than a year of negotiations. The 475 reporters, copy editors, photographers and other staff covered by the agreement must still vote for ratification. Assuming it is approved, it will be the first time in the paper’s 137-year history that journalists will be covered by a collective bargaining agreement.
“We are extremely pleased that today we have reached tentative agreement with the Guild on a new contract,” said executive editor Norman Pearlstine and COO Chris Argentieri in a statement. “We are confident that, together, we will build on this spirit of cooperation and mutual respect as we look to the future.”
In January 2018, the staff voted overwhelmingly to join the NewsGuild, a sector of the Communications Workers of America, following years of ownership turbulence. At the time, the paper was owned by Tronc, which held the nationwide chain of newspapers once owned by the Tribune Co. Soon after the vote, Tronc sold the paper to Patrick Soon-Shiong, the billionaire investor and doctor.
Times journalists have complained of stagnant wages and pay disparities. According to the paper, the three-year agreement provides for a 5% increase for some journalists right away, and a 2.5% increase across the board in the second and third year of the contract.