Women Committee’s First Event

On April 15th 2014 the Women Committee of CWA/TNG Local 34071 in Chicago held its first event at the Sisters of Providence facility for mentally challenged women.

Sonia Garcia, Emilia Cartagena, Alicia Heskin, Grace Catania and Grace Doyle, all Cook County judicial interpreters entertained 35 women. Refreshments were served during a game of picture bingo and prizes were awarded to the winners; all 35 of them!

Dancing and singing wrapped-up our festivities and the happy attendees invited us to come back for a BEAUTY EVENING which we are organizing and planning to hold in June.

Many thanks to our members for gathering great prizes such as small bags, cosmetics and perfume samples, shampoos and conditioners and for donating their time for this event.

We are now looking for nail files, nail polish in all colors, nail polish removers, hand creams, cotton balls to use at the next event in June, so if you can donate any of those items, we will truly appreciate it. Call Grace Doyle (708) 420-5079 (email at gmd1132@gmail.com) or Grace Catania (847) 691-0328 (email gracecatania@msn.com).

Alicia Heskin (left back) and Emilia Cartagena (center)
Alicia Heskin (left back) and Emilia Cartagena (center)
Grace Doyle (left) and residents
Grace Doyle (left) and residents


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Working Journalists

On May 30, 2013, Sun-Times Media laid off its entire 28-member photo department staff. Less than a year later, four of the 17 photographers that were protected by the collective bargaining agreement were hired back.

What about the 13 Guild-covered photographers and the other 11 photojournalists who were not brought back to work at Sun-Times Media?

All those individuals were invited to join the new unit they inspired—Working Journalists.

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Support professionally certified interpreters

Any individual going through the court system has the Constitutional right to an interpreter. Cook County Court Interpreters believe individuals going through the system whose native language is not English deserve highly trained, professionally certified interpreters.

The issue of interpretation recently got media attention after the Chicago Sun-Times reported about a rape case that was dismissed in part because of a language-barrier issue. A judge denied the alleged rape victim access to an interpreter. Read the full story here: During suspect’s court hearing, prosecutors detail brutal attack of Belmont-Cragin teen

National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators Chair Robert Cruz wrote that the NAJIT was “appalled that a request for an interpreter … was rebuffed in such a way.”

“We welcome our obligation to promote the best practices for our profession and to ensure that our members continue this vital role as part of the justice system,” Cruz wrote. (Read his entire piece here: http://www.languagelinkllc.net/?p=90).

In an effort to promote best practices and highly trained interpreters, Cook County Court Interpreters are asking people to sign a petition supporting the certification of Cook County Court Interpreters by clicking here: http://action.cwa-union.org/c/1588/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=7862

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CNG passes new resolution

Chicago Newspaper Guild’s executive board unanimously passed a resolution at the March 12 meeting supporting Communication Workers of America Next Generation Network.

Next Generation Network promotes and supports younger activists to help engage union members. The goal is to get the future of the labor movement–the next generation of people under 35–involved and active union members.

The resolution states CNG’s support of this network, pledges to send local activists to the Next Generation Summit, designate a local coordinator from CNG to engage members under 35 and get people to sign up. You can read the full resolution here: http://imgur.com/edit

CNG President Dave Pollard is working with TNG Next Generation lead activist Beth Kramer to designate a CNG coordinator.

Members under 35 who want to sign up for the Next Generation Network can do so here: http://www.cwa-union.org/issues/entry/c/next-generation#.UyHX-oUbF24

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Unit Elections!

Election time is here. Below are the dates/times/locations for unit elections.

Teamsters Local 743

Date: Tuesday, Feb. 18

Time: 5:15 p.m.

Where: Teamsters Local 743 conference room

Chicago Sun-Times

Date: Wednesday, Feb. 19

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Where: Holiday Inn, 350 N. Orleans,Steam Boat Room, 14th floor


Date: Friday, Feb. 21

Time: noon

Where: TJ Maloney’s Irish Pub, 800 E. 81st Ave., Merrillville, Ind.

Lake County News-Sun

Date: Friday, Feb. 28

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Where: Tacos el Norte, 401 N. Riverside Dr., Gurnee

Please note that elections are for members only.


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New Guild e-mail

Chicago Newspaper Guild can now be reached at chiguild@yahoo.com.

The former e-mail address loc71@flash.net no longer works. We apologize for any inconvenience.

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Retirement for Rothman

Crises brought them together twice—first in 2011 when Chicago Newspaper Guild (CNG) fell behind in dues payments and again in summer of 2013 after all the photographers were fired.

Both times, Secretary-Treasurer of The Newspaper Guild-CWA Carol Rothman of Philadelphia came through for Chicago.  In 2011, she worked with CNG to hammer out a plan to get back on track. In 2013, Rothman recalled a seldom-used fund to get the Guild-protected photographers weekly cash benefits and cover their insurance after Sun-Times Media left those 17 photojournalists unemployed.

Rothman is now ready to retire after 43 years as a Guild member. She served as secretary-treasurer for the national union since 2008.

“Carol has been very motivating and supporting to me and the Chicago Newspaper Guild. I hate that she is leaving—I tried to talk her out of it but she said it’s time for her to hang up her hat and I want to thank her from the bottom of my heart and wish her well in the future,” CNG President Dave Pollard said.

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New contract ratified

All five Chicago Newspaper Guild (CNG) bargaining units voted to ratify the Contract Extension Agreement reached with Sun-Times Media management. The three-year contract was reached after 15 months of negotiations. Four of the 17 photographers protected by Chicago Newspaper Guild will also get their jobs back as art of a settlement reached that was part of the package deal with the company.

“I think it’s great. Not everyone was happy, but I think all five units understood the dynamics of what this contract agreement means. It means presence in the newsroom by union-proud employees, including some photographers. I think bringing some photographers back is a big win,” said CNG President David Pollard.

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Two units ratify contract

Both the Chicago Sun-Times and Gary Post-Tribune bargaining units voted to ratify the tentative agreement (TA) at ratification meetings Monday, Dec. 2.  Chicago Newspaper Guild President David Pollard called Monday’s votes “a step in the right direction.”

“Hopefully, we’ll get the same type of response from the rest of our members,” Pollard said. “I want to thank everybody—mobilizers and the negotiating committee for all their hard work.”

The agreement was reached after 15 months of bargaining with the company.

The TA is not a done deal until the remaining three units vote at their meetings, scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 3.

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