NewsGuild Election 2019
About the Election
IAPE’s parent union, the NewsGuild-CWA, is holding an election for president this year. Incumbent Bernie Lunzer faces challenger Jon Schleuss in the Guild’s first election for the top spot in 11 years. Eligible voters from more than 60 locals across the U.S. and Canada will cast ballots in the contest.
Information About Voting
Who Can Vote? IAPE Members who paid dues in September, October and November of 2018.
Where can I find my ballot? Paper ballots were sent in late March to the home address for eligible voters, including a stamped envelope for return.
Where’s my ballot? If you think you are eligible to vote and have not yet received a ballot, reach out to the election committee
Can I get a new ballot? If you have spoiled your ballot or need a new one, please reach out to IAPE’s election committee
When is the winner announced? Votes will be counted and a winner certified the week of May 13. PLEASE GET YOUR BALLOT IN THE MAIL BY THE FIRST WEEK OF MAY
Meet the Candidates
The Incumbent: Bernie Lunzer
Bernie Lunzer was elected president of The NewsGuild-CWA in 2008 and was re-elected in 2011 and 2015. He served as secretary-treasurer (now executive vice president) from 1995 to 2008 after working as administrative officer of the Minnesota Guild. And before all that, he took Guild leave to serve as strike captain in 1986.
Bernie got a job in the Advertising department of the St. Paul Pioneer Press-Dispatch in 1979, requesting his union card on his first day. From there, he worked in promotion, circulation and the newsroom. He served on his first bargaining committee in 1981 and two more while unit chair in St. Paul. While administrative officer, he led negotiations in St. Paul and at the Star Tribune of Minneapolis, and other smaller units.
Bernie worked for over a year on a pay equity committee involving over 200 positions, while also serving on the health & safety and worker participation committees. The Minnesota local became a model for pushing into areas beyond collective bargaining by using joint worker/management committees to help address employees’ issues.
While Guild secretary-treasurer, Bernie assisted the Detroit strikers, representing the International Guild in bargaining in an attempt to secure a negotiated settlement after a return to work. He participated in multiple contract negotiations throughout the U.S. and helped locals in Canada and Puerto Rico on major issues.
Bernie served as a pension trustee while in Minnesota and is a trustee and co-chair of the Guild’s international pension plan. He helped to implement a new secure, low-risk plan as an option for Guild members. He has also pursued several alternative ownership strategies in the media industry.
A collective bargaining program that’s innovative and demanding. An organizing program that’s historic for The NewsGuild-CWA. Outreach efforts that include free press, pay equity and other issues.
These are just some of The Guild’s accomplishments under my leadership. We will continue to expand on these successes if you re-elect me as president. This Guild election matters, and I want your vote.
I am not starry-eyed. I know unions and journalism are under well-funded attacks on every front. Our members are overworked and underpaid. Many owners who should care about the future of journalism simply don’t. They’re greedy. They kill our products and blame the internet.
But we are pushing back. I am the candidate with both the energy and experience to continue to lead The NewsGuild-CWA to success.
TNG organizers work closely with the groups that want to form unions. These groups create their own victories with big assists from TNG with finances and people.
Our plan leads from start-up to recognition to first contract, and we’re prepared for each critical step. We can expand organizing, which requires additional resources. I am working hard to make sure TNG gets everything necessary to continue to build the Guild.
Collective bargaining is the flip side of organizing. New units want to join an international union with a strong bargaining program, which TNG has. Our program allows for local autonomy while the national union is available with wisdom and advice. Four of five field reps retired a couple of years ago, and I was able to replace each of those positions. We lead negotiations where needed and work with you when asked. We always review proposals and settlements, using standards that are the highest in the industry.
We don’t rely only on what’s worked in the past, however. We have done two experiments with coordinated bargaining at Digital First Media/Alden and Gatehouse Media. I believe that both have been successful and likely will be successful in the future because the members have stuck together.
At the heart of this, we are fighting hedge fund owners who are both amoral and immoral. We have been working on alternative ownership strategies and must pry our products from these rapacious owners and connect our communities directly to the product. It is the future of media.
That’s why we fight in the public sphere with movement building. We can’t win these fights by ourselves so we develop allies. We expect and demand safety for our workers at a time when our president calls us “the enemy of the people.” We file amicus briefs to support freedom of information requests and to keep “the right to report.”
And we’re a proud part of the Communications Workers of America, which has helped accomplish our lofty goals. With my leadership and with the continued backing of CWA and you, our members, we will expand our successes.
I’m Bernie Lunzer, and I want your vote for president of The NewsGuild-CWA. Together, we will continue to build the Guild.
The Challenger: Jon Schleuss
Jon Schleuss is a Los Angeles Times data and graphics journalist, college instructor and successful union organizer who grew up in rural south Arkansas.
In late 2016, Jon and a colleague launched the organizing campaign that resulted in an overwhelming victory for the NewsGuild at The Times, whose newsroom had never been unionized.
The creative tactical moves and communication strategies that Jon helped plot and execute in Times campaign were replicated in successful Guild drives across the country.
Jon’s roots as an activist date to his undergraduate years at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, where he organized marches and served on the board of a nonprofit that advances LGBTQ rights.
Ten years ago, he became online editor at the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, where he learned the importance of leadership and innovation in a changing industry. He established the company’s social media accounts, promoted the use of blogging, and published breaking news online throughout the day.
Jon also worked as a reporter and weekend host at a local NPR station before moving to L.A. in 2013 to join The Times.
In the Guild campaign, Jon and his fellow organizers used their leadership skills and journalism smarts to unite the newsroom, outmaneuver the company’s anti-union efforts, expose pay inequities among the staff and report on corporate mismanagement.
For the past three years, in addition to his Times and Guild duties, Jon has taught journalism students how to code as an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California.
At a time of great challenges, we must build a modern, forward-looking International NewsGuild that will better serve our members and grow our numbers.
We must build a modern, more democratic International NewsGuild that is more aggressive at organizing, communication, transparency and connecting our locals to share ideas and strategies so we are stronger at the bargaining table and in our shops.