Every NewsGuild contract has due process for all disciplinary disputes — and ours must, too!
NBC News lawyers have held up the bargaining process for almost three years by demanding an editorial exception to the disciplinary process. With that exception, management would have full discretion to discipline and terminate NBC News digital employees for any creative or editorial issues, without applying the principles of progressive discipline (having a reasonable rule, conducting a fair investigation, proof of violation, consistent application of the rule, appropriate discipline commensurate with the infraction, etc).
Under the proposal from company lawyers, no reason would need to be provided to the employee before they are terminated for editorial or creative reasons — only a 60-day Performance Improvement Plan without clear guidelines. (P.S. NBC can provide no evidence of any employee previously surviving the PIP process.)
If a manager doesn’t like our word choice — we’re fired. Doesn’t like our photo selection — we’re fired. Doesn’t like the way we used music in that video — we’re fired. If a manager doesn’t like us because we organized a union on their watch and now they need a pretextual reason to get rid of us — suddenly we have “creative differences.”
NBC wants to return to the days of at-will employment, when management could fire anyone at any time — all they need is a subjective disagreement with one creative or editorial issue.
Job security for only non-editorial issues is not real job security.
Would you agree to a contract that can be taken away after a single creative disagreement with your manager? Should choosing to work at NBC News be a step down from the industry-standard job security that union contracts currently provide all over the country?
Write a letter and tell NBC News management that digital workers need just cause now.