Times-Union newsroom staff votes to unionize
Journalists at The Florida Times-Union voted Thursday to form a union, becoming the third newspaper in Florida to take that step.
The NewsGuild-CWA will represent all of the newsroom's reporters, copy editors, photographers and digital producers. The vote, held under the supervision of the National Labor Relations Board, authorizes the union to begin contract negotiations with the Times-Union's parent company, GateHouse Media, on employees' behalf.
"I appreciate the commitment our newsroom has to serving this community, which is my hometown, with important journalism," Times-Union Editor Mary Kelli Palka said. "I know they believe this move will help them do that even better. I respect their decision to unionize.
"Journalists are traditionally more than colleagues. They are friends and family. At the Times-Union, that's as strong today as ever. I'm proud to serve as editor for the journalists in this newsroom. We will continue to move forward together as a strong team."
Times-Union reporter and union organizing committee member Steve Patterson said the move is intended to preserve the newspaper as a vital source of information for the community for years to come.
"Today's vote happened after a lot of discussion and debate in the newsroom," said Patterson, who has been with the paper since 1987. "Not everyone agreed on the choice, but we all agreed we want to keep the Times-Union healthy and indispensable to Northeast Florida.
"This vote was about continuing strong local journalism by considering the voices of people who create it."