Yesterday’s announcement that VTDigger and the VTDigger Guild had reached agreement on a contract was, I have to admit, a surprise. The terms were an even bigger and pleasanter surprise.
That’s because Digger management had stonewalled the talks for at least a year since the Guild organized. There was no reason to think that management would ever change its tune, but now it has. And I’ve renewed my monthly donation to Digger, which I suspended in May when the Guild went public with its account of the stonewalling.
Another sign of a healthy union/management relationship came in the comments on the settlement from both sides. Digger founder Anne Galloway said the talks “resulted in mutual respect, better communication and excitement about the future,” and spoke of “the Guild’s commitment to the VTDigger mission.” Lola Duffort, ace reporter and co-chair of the Guild local said negotiations were “a long and at times difficult conversation, but we had it as equals, and the organization is much stronger for it.”
Which is almost word-for-word what I wrote when I suspended my monthly donation: that the Guild wanted to support Digger and its mission, not tear it down.
VTDigger is at a critical juncture in its development. It is trying to build a sustainable, professional enterprise capable of thriving in a time of dramatic change for its industry. …The Guild wants to be a partner, not an antagonist. It isn’t making outlandish demands. Guild members want Digger to prosper, and to fully become a model for sustainable journalism.
The Guild contract is a big step in that direction.Continue reading