Guild/CWA Contract Ratification
Questions and Answers
Q: Where and when will the Seattle Times contract ratification vote take place?
A: The ratification meetings and voting will take place at the Fairview Club, 2022 Boren Ave., which is located southeast of the Times across Denny Way. The meetings will take place over two days at the following times: 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13, and noon and 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14. The votes will be counted after the final meeting.
Q: Who may vote on the proposed Seattle Times contracts?
A: Full members in good standing are eligible to vote on the contract for their unit. The Guild contract covers Advertising, Circulation, News and Marketing. The Composing contract covers the Composing department. If you’re unsure of your membership status, call the Guild office at 206-328-1190.
Q: I’m a new employee. Do I get to vote?
A: New employees may vote if they sign an information card and make provisions to pay dues (most people choose payroll deduction). Sign-up materials for new members will be available at the ratification meetings. If people aren’t new, and they don’t show up on our membership roster, we will ask them to vote a challenge ballot until we can verify their membership information.
Q: Will the vote be by a show of hands?
A: No, the vote will be by secret ballot. You will have to sign next to your name on our membership roster to receive a ballot.
Q: I want to ask the bargaining team some questions before I vote. Will the team be available?
A: Yes. At every ratification meeting, the bargaining team will make a presentation on the changes to the contract, discuss its recommendation and answer questions from members. The meetings also provide an opportunity for members to express their opinions to others. We hope that members will attend and listen before voting.
Q: I will be on vacation and out of town the week of the vote. Can I still vote?
A: No, you must be present to vote. The only exception made is for employees who are out of town for work purposes, either because of their regular assignment (e.g., reporters in the Olympia and Washington D.C. bureaus) or a special assignment (e.g., on assignment to a convention or other event). For these employees, we have provisions for voting by fax. If you wish to make such arrangements, call the Guild office at 206-328-1190.
Q: Do a certain percentage of members have to vote in order for the vote to be valid?
A: No. The vote will be decided by a simple majority of those voting.
Q: Are we going to take a strike authorization vote during the ratification meetings?
A: At this time, no.
Q: Will the bargaining team put its recommendation on the blog before the vote?
A: Probably not. The blog is open to anyone on the web, and it’s not the best place for conversations that should take place among members only. The team hasn’t yet met to discuss its recommendation, but will do so prior to the vote. The team will discuss its recommendation at the ratification meetings.
Q: Can members see copies of the new contract prior to voting?
A: Yes, copies of the proof document will be available as soon as the final version is set. Summaries of changes to both contracts are available for download on the Guild web site, pnwguild.org.