The New York Times newspaper
Source: Getty Images

Why Is There a New York Times Union Strike? Contract Issues, Explained

Danielle Letenyei - Author
By

Dec. 8 2022, Published 1:30 p.m. ET

Staff at The New York Times are staging a 24-hour strike on Dec. 8, 2022. Over 1,100 members of The NewsGuild of New York will walk off the job. The union members include reporters, editors, and other staff at the newspaper.

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This is the first strike at The New York Times in over 40 years, CNBC reports. Keep reading for all the details on The New York Times union strike.

The New York Times building
Source: Getty Images
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Why are New York Times employees striking?

The Times staff members are striking due to a bargaining stalemate between their union and Times management. The two sides have been negotiating since the union’s contract expired in March 2021 but they disagree on salaries, health and retirement benefits, and other issues, the Times reports.

“It’s never an easy decision to refuse to do work you love, but our members are willing to do what it takes to win a better newsroom for all,” the NewsGuild tweeted on Dec. 7.

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NewsGuild union members want a 10 percent raise in salaries, 5.5 percent in 2023 and 2024, and 8.5 percent retroactive from when the contract expired, the Times reports. Times management has offered the union a 5.5 percent raise, 3 percent in 2023 and 2024 and a 4 percent retroactive bonus.

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Other issues being debated are the company’s remote work policies. The Times currently requires staff to work in the office three days a week, but employees want more flexibility, CNBC reports.

In a show of support for Times workers, many on social media are asking people to refrain from using any Times products on Dec. 8, even Wordle.

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How much do New York Times workers make?

The average salary at the Times is $112,900, with the highest paid employee being the Director of PR, who earns an annual salary of $250,000, reports Comparably.

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According to Glassdoor.com, Times reporters earn anywhere from $63,000 to $130,000 annually. Editors make about the same amount as reporters, but senior editors can earn as much as $190,000.

Who owns the NYT?

The Times is owned by the New York Times Company, a publicly traded company, so its shareholders technically own it. However, the company has been managed by the Ochs-Sulzberger family since 1896, when Adolph S. Ochs purchased the paper in a bankruptcy sale, the Times reports.

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NYT Publisher Earns Millions

Arthur Gregg “A.G.” Sulzberger, 42, is the Times publisher and chairman of The New York Times Company. Sulzberger’s net worth is estimated to be in the millions. According to Wallmine, his total compensation at the Times tops $2 million.

A.G. Sulzberger
Source: New York Times
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A.G. Sulzberger became publisher in 2018 and is the sixth member of his family to fill the role. Sulzberger paid his dues in the newsroom before he took the top spot at the newspaper. He worked as a metro reporter, national correspondent, and associate editor before being named publisher.

“I am an unapologetic champion for this institution and its journalistic mission,” A.G. Sulzberger told the Times when he was appointed publisher. “And I’ll continue to be that as publisher.”

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Business Will Continue as Usual, Times Management Says

Despite having about 90 percent of its newsroom staff out on strike, the paper will continue business as usual, Times Executive Editor Joe Kahn said, as reported by the Times. Nonunion employees will take over during the walkout.

“We will produce a robust report on Thursday. But it will be harder than usual,” the Times reports Kahn wrote in his email to the newsroom.

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