We believe Arizona Republic environmental reporters deserve equal benefits

Gannett News President Maribel Wadsworth & Arizona Republic Executive Editor Greg Burton

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The Arizona Republic newsroom, which unionized last year with the NewsGuild-CWA to protect local journalism, is bargaining a contract with our parent company, Gannett. The company is seeking to exclude two of our colleagues who serve as Environmental Reporting Fellows from the unit.

At a time when trustworthy environmental reporting is of deep interest and value to our readers, not only is Gannett seeking to exclude these full-time reporters from our bargaining unit, the company also does not offer the fellows health insurance, vacation time or other benefits that Republic journalists receive.

Let us repeat: These two colleagues who perform the same amount and quality of work as other journalists at The Republic are required to purchase their own medical insurance and receive no paid time off for a year, the typical length of the environmental fellowship.

When we requested Gannett fix this injustice, the company refused, saying the environmental fellows are a "different animal" from the rest of the newsroom.

We respectfully disagree. These journalists work tirelessly to bring ground-breaking environmental coverage to the people of Arizona. They should be able to focus on their work, not on worrying about finding health insurance to cover medications or whether they can afford to take a day off for illness or a family vacation. They're #OneOfUs.

It is important to note, the Affordable Care Act requires large employers to provide health insurance to full-time workers. We have asked the company to explain how it is complying with the ACA and have not received a response.

Please join us in demanding Gannett do the right thing by recognizing our environmental reporting fellows as part of our unit and offering them the health insurance, paid time off and other benefits they deserve.

Petition by
Rebekah Sanders
Phoenix, Arizona

To: Gannett News President Maribel Wadsworth & Arizona Republic Executive Editor Greg Burton
From: [Your Name]

I support the journalists of The Arizona Republic, including the two environmental reporters Gannett is excluding from health insurance, paid time off, benefits and union protections.

At a time when trustworthy environmental reporting is of deep interest and value to Arizona readers, these environmental fellows work tirelessly to serve their community and should not be excluded. They should be allowed to focus on their work, rather than worrying about how to find health insurance to afford medications and doctor appointments or whether they can take a day off for illness or a family vacation.

We urge you to do the right thing and recognize the two environmental fellows as part of the Arizona Republic Guild, with the same benefits as all other full-time employees.