Crosscut newsroom employees at their office in downtown Seattle. The newsroom recently announced a unionizing effort.
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Crosscut newsroom employees at their office in downtown Seattle. The newsroom recently announced a unionizing effort.
Credit: Courtesy of Crosscut Union

Journalists at KCTS, Crosscut launch union effort

Journalists at the online Seattle news site Crosscut and at the Seattle PBS station KCTS have launched a unionizing effort.

But the non-profit Cascade Public Media, which runs the two outlets, said Monday that it will not voluntarily recognize the union.

A Crosscut journalist said an election on unionizing would be held at the end of the month.

Union organizers said an election petition has been filed with the National Labor Relations Board.

They said nearly 90 percent of the 20 or so staffers at Crosscut and KCTS had signed on to the union effort.

The journalists would be represented by the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild, part of The NewsGuild-CWA. The Guild also represents The Seattle Times’ newsroom. Among other things, employees say pay has not kept up with Seattle's rising cost of living.

In an email to employees Monday evening, Cascade Public Media said it respected employees’ right to join a union. But it said it would not voluntarily recognize the union “because not every employee who may be subject to union representation is included on the mission statement submitted today.”

It wasn’t clear which employees that referred to.

A statement from staffers backing the union effort mentions the newsroom and says “we need to ensure our staff – from photographers to video editors, from reporters to producers – have opportunities to grow and progress.”

KUOW’s newsroom also recently unionized; the reporters’ and producers’ contract went into effect on July 1.

KUOW's Gil Aegerter contributed reporting.