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June 17, 2024

Courant reporters ratify first union contract

HBJ FILE PHOTO The Hartford Courant’s former headquarters at 285 Broad St. in Hartford. The Courant closed its newsroom and currently operates a fully remote workforce.

Reporters from the country’s oldest continuously published newspaper have ratified their first union contract, The Hartford Courant Guild announced.

The Hartford Courant Guild, which was formed by newsroom reporters in Feb. 2019, and seven other Tribune publications owned by hedge fund Alden Global Capital have ratified a new, five-year contract that includes a 3% raise this month and another 3% raise next year. The contract also includes protections for existing 401(k) matches and job security initiatives, according to information from the guild.

In addition to the guaranteed raises and retirement fund protections, the new contract includes just-cause provisions to prevent “arbitrary discipline and termination,” a grievance and arbitration process involving a third-party for disputes, social media and credit line rights. While negotiations for a union contract began in 2019, the guild said cuts to the newsroom ramped up after the Hartford Courant and other publications were sold to Alden in 2021.
In addition to the Hartford Courant, the Orlando Sentinel, Tidewater, The Allentown Morning Call in Pennsylvania, Chicago Tribune, Design and Production Studios and Tribune Content Agency are covered by the contract, which saw 94% of union member support.

“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 Hartford Courant Reporter Christopher Keating, co-chair of the guild. "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.''

The joint bargaining committee for the contract included 62 NewsGuild members. The Hartford Courant Guild represents 21 newsroom employees.

“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.”

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