Hey Guild Members, meet the candidates running to be president of the Chicago News Guild.
Anne Balay has been a member of the Guild for 3 years. She is a union organizer working in Higher Ed in St Louis. Balay has published two books (google it!) about queer work and workers. She has spent her life exploring what work means to the people who do it, and how to make that more equitable, and more fun. Balay is running for Guild President to bring Organizer’s energy to the office. Our meetings should be about our issues and problems and should end with strategies for change. Members of this Guild are smart, militant, and driven. Our union should be too.
Andy Grimm has been a union activist since he first joined The NewsGuild as a member of the Gary News Guild in 2004. Now a reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times, Andy has served one full term as president of the Chicago News Guild. He’s been on bargaining committees in Gary and at the Sun-Times, helped organize new shops, and spent a year working full-time for The NewsGuild helping members across the U.S. seek out investors to buy local newspapers. In the last two years, he’s been on the streets (and in the Zooms) to help members organize a rally outside the Chicago Tribune printing plant; hold a protest outside the home of a lead investor in The Chicago Reader; picket the Mag Mile offices of Kaplan; and get our members on the floor at Cook County board meetings calling for a fair contract for Court Interpreters (among other actions taken by our membership!) Winning the fights we must win takes commitment to building a fighting, organizing union by local officers, staff and— most importantly— members in each and every unit. If you’re committed and want to help bring your fellow members into the fight, he’d like your vote. Contact Andy by email with questions and include a callback number.
A mail-in ballot election for the office of Local President will be conducted by the American Arbitration Association at the date, time and place indicated below.
Date: January 21, 2023
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Place: American Arbitration Association 150 N Michigan Ave, Suite 3050, Chicago, IL 60601
Ballots will be mailed on December 14, 2022. All dues paying members are eligible to vote. If you are not a dues paying member and wish to re-instate please contact Tim Campbell at email@example.com
This year, local officers and unit offices are both up for election!
That means there are ample opportunities for members to get more engaged with our local and in their shop!
Nominations for local officer positions will be held during the November membership meeting
Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. via Zoom.
Voting for a contested local office will be held 30 to 45 days after Nov. 9.
Watch your email inbox for information from your unit leaders about the dates for unit officer elections.
Each unit must hold its meeting for nominating officers in January or February, per CNG bylaws. And— COVID safety permitting— Chicago News Guild is planning one an in-person leadership retreat (with all necessary precautions to maximize safety for all members) for new officers and stewards in February or early March.
The event will be an overnight affair at a nice hotel, with planning sessions, workshops and training for all new officers and stewards. So, please pay attention to the timelines for unit elections to make sure we’ve completed voting by February, so all new officers can attend!
Below is more information about the election process, the positions, and how to properly announce and hold your nominations and conduct voting. If you have any questions direct them to Local Secretary Tim Campbell at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a bunch more information on officer elections!
Local Officer Elections
The Chicago News Guild represents nearly 500 members at the leading newspapers in the Chicago area, as well as Cook County’s court interpreters, staff at some of the city’s largest labor unions, and workers at a number of progressive organizations.
Again, nominations for local officer positions will be held at the November membership meeting, being held via Zoom 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9. Voting for any contested local office will be held 30 to 45 days after Nov. 9.
LOCAL OFFICER POSITIONS (2-YEAR TERMS)
Presides over meetings of the membership and executive board, ex-officio member of all Local committees; sets priorities for the local, appoints committee members, frequent point of contact for TNG officials.
First Vice President
Fulfills the duties of the President should the President be absent or unable to perform their duties.
Financial steward of the Local; monitors CNG accounts and finances, provides monthly reports to Exec Board and membership on local finances; prepares and presents annual CNG budget; member of Finance Committee; signs checks for duly approved expenses of CNG; monitors with Secretary dues revenues and per-capita payments to TNG and CWA.
Custodian of CNG records, including member rolls; takes and maintains minutes of meetings; helps administer elections; maintains CNG website; handles correspondence for Local.
How to nominate someone for Local office: Email Guild Secretary Tim Campbell at email@example.com before the Nov. 9 meeting. Tim will confirm nominees are willing to accept the office prior to the election. Nominations also can be made during the meeting.
Unit Officer Elections
An empowering and orderly election process is a great opportunity to engage your members and recruit new leaders, and to re-focus on what you want your unit to be. Democracy is good!
UNIT OFFICER POSITIONS (1-YEAR TERMS)
The bylaws require all units to elect each year the following:
Delegate to the Local Executive Board
Many units also elect positions such as: vice-chair, secretary or head steward, which Bylaws allow as determined by that unit’s needs to function cohesively.
TIMELINES FOR UNIT ELECTIONS
Per CNG Bylaws, unit officers are elected annually “in January or February.” Each unit must send notice of the date and time for unit officer nominations 20 days in advance of the meeting.
Again, please try to have completed elections by February, so that your officer corps can be in place in time for the CNG Retreat!
The earliest you can hold the nomination meeting is Jan. 1 (but that’s New Year’s Day, and a Sunday, and Monday, Jan. 2 is a holiday– so let’s say Jan. 3). To hold your nominations on Jan. 3, you’d have to send out a notice of the meeting by Dec. 15.
Local bylaws indicate that each unit shall elect at least three offices:
Delegate to the local Executive Board
Represents the unit at the Exec Board meetings of the local, votes on things like the local’s budget
To attend meetings should the delegate be unable
Leads the membership of the unit, also holds a seat on the local Exec Board
Most units elect additional officers, such as vice-chair or secretary as well. TNG recommends a chair, vice-chair, and secretary, as well as a steward corps (elected or appointed) with one steward per 10 unit members.
For new units without first contracts, TNG has helpful suggestions for the officers and unit structures here, there is also information on how to conduct your elections. A key provision for new units: assembling a neutral election committee. For units that are already established elections are overseen by the local’s Election Committee.
Elections are an organizing opportunity and are a prime opportunity to update unit records and revive communication structures, update members’ contact information, and build ways to disseminate candidate information— and information about the unit once elections are done.
Under our bylaws, notice of a membership meeting for elections must be given at least 20 days ahead of the meeting. Here is sample language showing what you should include in that notice.
Elections must take place no later than February. However, it is beneficial to announce the nominations and solicit nominations well before 20 days out– candidates will want time to consider their platforms and reach out to members. Note: formal nominations for established units should take place at a full membership meeting.
Given the notice requirements and the possible additional time that might be required for a mail-in ballot election (more on that later), all units should notice and conduct elections ASAP so they can be completed by February (February is the latest allowed under the bylaws).
HOW TO CONDUCT ELECTIONS
Nominations are made at a full membership meeting of the unit. However, there is no reason not to open up nominations ahead of time, allowing members to submit nominations to the unit secretary or an election committee, so names of candidates can circulate ahead of the meeting.
If there is only one nominee for a position, that person assumes the office. If there is more than one candidate for any position, there is an election— with slightly different rules for units that have closed their first contract, and units that are still fighting for their contract.
CONTESTED ELECTIONS: UNITS WITH CONTRACTS
If there is more than one candidate for an office in a unit with a contract, the local will conduct a mail-in ballot election presided over by the Local Election Committee. Units that don’t have a contract can conduct their elections via email or electronic poll.
The CNG Election Committee members are: Tim Campbell (Local Secretary); Phillip Montoro (Chicago Reader Unit Chair) and Denise O’Neal (Sun-Times Exec Board Delegate).
CONTESTED ELECTIONS: UNITS WITHOUT CONTRACTS
TNG has adopted best practices for units that have yet to close a first contract, because having democratic elections is important for building an engaged, responsive and democratic unit from the start.
Here is a doc from TNG on unit structures and conduct of elections.
Below is a sample timeline from TNG for a 3-4 week election process for new units.
Election process (units without contracts, per TNG best practices):
A simple 3-4 week process can be defined as:
Nomination period notice and announcement (2 weeks) and includes: eligibility requirements, position description, election process description and timetable.
Meeting for nominees to accept nominations
Please note some election committees in smaller units or where there are few nominations consult with the nominees one-on-one to talk through positions and confirm nominations.
Election notice announces nominees, confirms time for voting (1-2 weeks)
Want to join a delegation from Chicago News Guild delegation and meet thousands of labor leaders from across the globe and sign up for some of the hundreds of awesome workshops on offer?
Chicago Guild will pay the registration fees for 10 local members (a $175 value!) to attend!
Interested? Send an emailHEREwith your name, unit, address, phone and email— slots will go on a first-come, first-served basis (with consideration for representation across as many CNG units as possible)
These are exciting times for our union! We have members in the streets and notching big wins! We’ve got new units going public! And members across the local are battling intransigent bosses and evil hedge funds for contracts!
Our local is growing and getting stronger, and now is time to take stock and plan for the future!
We invite all unit officers— including our shops still battling for first contracts— to the Chicago News Guild (Zoom) Summit on Saturday, May 14 from 10 a.m. to noon.
This is a chance for us to discuss how our local and our units operate, how we can use our resources to build power in our shops, in our local and in our city!
At minimum, we need one officer from each unit to attend (and we’d love to have them all), but any members interested in building our union are welcome— stewards, active committee members, whoever!
SIGN UP FOR NEWS GUILD TRAINING SESSIONS! MORE MEMBERS WITH MORE KNOWLEDGE MAKES OUR UNION STRONGER!
Every Chicago Guild is invited to sign up! Click on the links to sign up today!
CONTRACT CAMPAIGNS WORKSHOP
Saturday, March 26, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Bring your team together— folks who want to be at the table, folks who want to research, folks who want to fire up the shop— for this 90-minute session that will help you build a campaign to WIN the contract you want.
Don’t think you know enough to be a steward? How do you think stewards got to know stuff? Stewards are knowledgeable communicators who bring their co-workers together to act and make our jobs better. Free up two hours every other TUESDAY and learn the ways of the steward.
MODULE 1: STEWARD BASICS
5-7 p.m. Tuesday April 5
What is the role of the steward, and can you do the job? (Spoiler: You can!) Check out this first session for an overview that will leave you hungry to learn more.
Labor Notes, a progressive labor organization that runs some of the best workshops around, will be offering its “Secrets of a Successful Organizer” series to TNG members. Check out this list of awesome topics, and please note that TNG will refund the $15 registration fee— reimbursement info will be provided by TNG at the session.
On Wednesday, March 9 at 6 CT/7ET Tribune Publishing Guilds and allies are meeting for for an hour-long state of our unions town hall.
Crucially, nearly all we have left to bargain is the hard economics of our contract. We know this will have a massive impact on us, each other, and our communities overall for years to come. We’ll be taking stock of where we are, where we’re going and how we can protect and build upon the work we are doing to save local news from predators like Alden Global Capital.
In addition to a Q&A session, attendees can expect to hear about:
Recent Tribune Publishing Guilds victories
Findings of our pay equity study being released next week
How much Alden/Tribune has cut staffing around the country
How Guild members are successfully fighting back
What it will take to win the contract that protects us (and our shared democracy)