President’s Letter

The NWU Delegate Assembly will convene from August 7-9 in New York City, where roughly 50 delegates, chapter and division chairs, along with national officers, will chart the course for the union going forward.

The DA is the highest governing body of our union, and it’s charged with addressing the major issues we face in this period marked by grave dangers and growing opportunities. On the one hand, the Supreme Court will hear the Fredericks case that could make Right to Work the law of the land, on the other is the growing traction of the Fight For $15 movement.

We will review our projected income and expenses for the coming year; evaluate the recent dues increase; as well as major cuts made in the national office as they relate to our most urgent needs.

The last DA focused on a strategic discussion around improving our communications and outreach, in general, as well as building a new website. Now that has been redesigned and relaunched, we have additional opportunities to expand internal communications and external outreach.

Pamela K. Johnson, second VP is becoming our digital content editor, covering both the newsletter and website. She’ll also edit copy submitted by chapter and division chairs that will be produced and posted, in part, to drive traffic to our new WordPress site.

Dave Hill, first VP, will oversee our widening Twitter and Facebook presence, which also has the power to attract professional and aspiring writers to join the union.

Mauricio Niebla, 3rd VP, will seek to coordinate all of our social media for our Sindicatos Escritores project for Spanish language writers. As we maximize use of social media, we’ll look to convert our more than 2,000 Facebook “Likes” to memberships, by conducting recruitment campaigns via Twitter and Facebook.

Also at the DA:

  • The Book Division (BD) will discuss the state of the Congressional copyright reform legislation. We will join our allies in ASJA and SFWA in meeting with Judiciary Committee staffers the week after the DA. BD will also report on the campaign to win 50 percent royalties on e-books, and how we should approach the Authors Guild’s newly announced campaign around this long-held NWU initiative.
  • The Journalism Division will report on our long-term strategy to set a base-pay rate for digital writers.
  • The GCD and BD will roll out the first of three webinars on e-book contracts.
  • We’ll get updates on our health insurance from Working America, and hear about our efforts at the UN to end impunity against journalists on behalf of the International Federation of Journalists.

We’ll introduce a resolution for a Day of Action Against Racism to bring us closer to the #BlackLivesMatter movement, which was launched in response to racist police and vigilante terror.

We are scheduled to hear Bhairavi Desai, president of the NY Taxi Workers Alliance, who’ll speak out about her experience organizing independent contractors and precarious workers without collective bargaining. And a Gawker staff writer will address the DA about how he and his colleagues’ successfully organized their shop into the Writers Guild of America, East.

I look forward to a spirited exchange of ideas, handled in the (mostly) comradely way that moves the union forward. Follow the action on Twitter and Facebook, and look out for a Special Newsletter on the results of the 2015 Delegate Assembly.