Bernard Lunzer, known best simply as “Bernie” to his friends and supporters, began his union career on his first day of work at the St. Paul Pioneer Press-Dispatch when he requested his union card. Since then, he’s served in a multitude of Guild positions from shop steward and bargaining team member at the St. Paul Pioneer Press-Dispatch to administrative officer at the Minnesota Guild to secretary-treasurer and president of TNG/CWA.
More important than a list of his years and titles is the work that he’s done both in the trenches on the board of the Communications Workers of America. He was at the forefront of the pay equity issue, starting in 1982 when he was 23 years old. And he’s been instrumental in pushing TNG locals to conduct pay equity studies today as the union continues its fight to right that wrong. He understands pensions, starting with his work as a trustee on the St. Paul Guild Pension Plan and continuing to today, when he’s co-chair of the Guild’s International Pension Plan.
Bernie has worked with journalists who strike, such as those in Detroit in 1995, and journalists who bargain. He understands the hard work of negotiating because he first served on a bargaining committee in 1981 and then on two more committees while he was unit chair in St. Paul. He was chief negotiator for many bargaining sessions when he served as Administrative Officer of the Minnesota NewsGuild.
He understands the news business from all sides because of his deep experience, beginning in St. Paul where he worked both in advertising, promotion, circulation and in the newsroom.
All that experience prepared Bernie to serve as TNG’s secretary-treasurer from 1995 to 2008 and then as president from 2008 until now. In those roles, he has worked internationally on issues such as lockouts and strikes in Canada and Puerto Rico.
Bernie has worked closely with property sales and alternative ownership issues, including establishment of ESOP’s and co-ops in the Guild. He has worked to understand business models and the challenges in the industry.
Bernie is seeking his fourth term as president, running on a slate with Marian Needham as executive vice president and Martha Waggoner as international chair.