The Idaho Statesman must commit to pay transparency, fair wages and expense reimbursements for its workers

Dear reader,

The staff of the Idaho Statesman has been at the bargaining table for more than a year with The McClatchy Company, working to secure a first contract that will recognize and reward our journalists for the tiring work they perform every day. Among our demands are a commitment to equitable living wages, salary transparency and fair expense reimbursements.

As we await the company’s response to our wage proposal, we’re asking for your help. Write to Idaho Statesman and McClatchy leadership as a part of this campaign to show that you value local journalism and support our fight for good jobs in the Treasure Valley. With your support, we call on the company to provide the following:

Fair wages

Boise is now the least affordable housing market in the U.S. But what McClatchy – the company that owns the Idaho Statesman – pays its reporters doesn’t reflect that. Several Idaho Statesman journalists are even eligible for government housing assistance. With inflation ballooning, paying the bills every month becomes ever harder.

Our reporters frequently write about the difficulty Idahoans face in finding housing and making ends meet. But those stories of scrambling to find a new, affordable apartment when the rent gets hiked, or struggling to make ends meet when medical bills come due aren’t just happening out in our community. They’re happening in our newsroom, too.

Transparent hiring

McClatchy says it values diversity and transparency in its newsrooms. But its hiring practices don’t reflect that. Even though countless Treasure Valley businesses list their wages on job postings, our hedge-fund-owned company refuses to publicize salary ranges for its jobs, making it difficult for our newspaper to attract a diverse set of employees.

Pay transparency is a proven method of narrowing gender and racial wage gaps. Some talented potential employees may not even bother to apply without seeing any wage info, knowing it means the job won’t pay much.

As reporters, we demand transparency from local governments and companies that affect the people in our community. We expect the same from our company.

Shared expenses

Being a journalist requires up-to-date communication tools and reliable transport, neither of which are free. But McClatchy does not reimburse us for the true cost of these expenses. Our cell phone stipend, for example, is a whopping $25, a fraction of the average cell phone bill. The company also only pays us slightly more than half the IRS standard rate for mileage, despite many journalists putting hundreds of miles a year on their personal vehicles in service to the company.

McClatchy must stop subsidizing its business model on the backs of low-paid journalists and fairly reimburse its employees for their expenses.

Thank you for your support as we continue to fight to preserve strong local journalism in the Treasure Valley. Please share this campaign with your friends and family as we continue to push the company to do the right thing for its workers in Boise.

In solidarity,

The workers of the Idaho Statesman

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