Just a year after Warren Hellman launched the Bay Citizen, the editorial newsroom decided to officially unionize.
On May 26, Bay Citizen staffers signed union cards indicating they want to join the Pacific Media Workers Guild, Local 39521 of the Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America. Union officials completed the count on July 12, verifying that the newsroom would now be represented by the Guild.
"We believe the Bay Citizen, as one of the pioneering exponents of new civic journalism, should also be a leading example in the area of workplace democracy," editorial staff wrote in a
letter to Lisa Frazier, the newspaper's president and CEO, before filing cards with the National Labor Relations Board.A total of 14 votes were cast, with seven in favor and five opposing the union. Two votes are being challenged. They have not been opened, but the Guild says it's confident that the concluding tally will remain in favor of forming a unit.
"The future of quality journalism depends on reporters and editors shaping the vision of innovative new media organizations. By voting to be represented by the Guild, employees at the Bay Citizen have given themselves this voice," Lunzer said.Follow us on Twitter at @SFWeekly and @TheSnitchSF