NewsGuild locals representing GateHouse units won raises and health care premium freezes in 2017 through a joint bargaining process championed by Guild President Bernie Lunzer.
Last week, candidate Jon Schleuss attacked that contract and the Guild’s collective bargaining process, an improper interjection into other locals’ governance and bargaining. He also violated a confidentiality agreement, misrepresented the process, and in the end weakened the union’s power, all for personal political gain.
A number of NewsGuild leaders reacted publicly to Jon’s misconduct. Here’s a selection of what they had to say.
Dan Oldfield – retired lead negotiator, Canadian Media Guild
“There’s something seriously wrong when you start criticising deals reached at other tables and ratified by other members. It means you simply do not understand the collective bargaining process. It also suggests you’d be prepared to sacrifice a deal for political purposes. Leadership in the Union business is all about doing your best for members, not what’s best for your political career.”
Bill O’Meara – CWA Defense Fund Oversight Committee, retired, New York NewsGuild
“As many of you know, I am the Guild’s representative on CWA’s Defense Fund Oversight Committee. The DFOC approved many thousands of dollars requested by Bernie Lunzer to fund the Gatehouse coordinated bargaining effort. It was viewed as a great success by those employees. It’s very sad to see that campaign undermined so viciously and capriciously by people who seem to know nothing about it. I hope they learn from this experience because they clearly need to get the facts first as good journalists normally do.“
Kevin Flowers – president, Erie NewsGuild, Vice President, NewsGuild
“I am one of two two regional vice presidents on the Sector Executive Committee who also lead GateHouse units. Jeff Gordon is the other. To characterize the GateHouse joint bargaining mechanism championed and pushed for by Bernie Lunzer – which benefited scores of members in terms of pay raises and health care – as anything other than forward thinking, creative and the epitome of fair and responsible member representation is shortsighted and frankly naive.
Point blank: there was nothing secret about it; the move was in our members’ best interests; and it was effective.”
Stevie Blanchard – Administrative Officer, Detroit NewsGuild
“Eventually disregard for process and regulation comes to bite you. We cannot afford these kind of misinformed, misguided mistakes.”