Skip to main content

Reporters at Hartford Courant Ratify Historic First Contract

Social share icons

HARTFORD – After five years of negotiations, reporters at the Hartford Courant and seven other Tribune publications have ratified an historic first union contract with Alden Global Capital.

Following years of a dwindling newsroom and devastating cuts, newsroom employees voted in February 2019 to join together and form a union.

"When we created The Hartford Courant Guild over five years ago, it was in part to help ensure that the oldest continuously published newspaper in the United States continues to function," said Christopher Keating, the unit co-chair. "This contract took five long years to complete and was accomplished only through the diligent work of our bargaining leaders, particularly former Courant reporter Daniela Altimari and sports reporter Lori Riley. They deserve credit for the gains that we made."

Newsrooms covered by the contract include The Hartford Courant, Orlando Sentinel, Tidewater, The Allentown Morning Call in Pennsylvania, Suburban Chicago Tribune, Design and Production Studios, and Tribune Content Agency.

The joint bargaining committee, with involvement from 62 NewsGuild members over the span of five years, secured a two-year contract that guarantees raises, protects the 401(k) match, increases job security, and much more.

"Our first union contract at The Hartford Courant is historic," said Lori Riley, the unit co-chair. "It’s a testament to our determination and grit to foster a workplace that values transparency, fairness, and the pursuit of truth above all else."

Among the units at the bargaining table, 94% of union members voted in favor of the contract.

The Hartford Courant and other Tribune publications were sold to the hedge fund, Alden Global Capital, in 2021. Cuts to the newsroom accelerated under new ownership operating in the challenging news market.

The Hartford Courant Guild represents 21 newsroom employees.

Highlights of the contract include:

  • 3 percent raises upon ratification of the contract this month, followed by 3% across-the-board raise next year.
  • Just cause provisions preventing arbitrary discipline and termination
  • Grievance and arbitration process formalizing a dispute resolution process with a third-party neutral arbitrator as the final decision maker
  • Social media protections and byline/credit line rights
  • Maintenance of existing employer 401K matches for all employees currently participating, which is not the case for managers and non-union employees.

# # #

Click here for additional details about the new contract.