Vice staff called on to join the union
8 February 2016
Following the example of colleagues in the US, staff at Vice UK are getting organised.
As union recognition is beginning to trend, with staff at Gawker, Vice US, The Guardian US, Huffington Post, and other digital news outlets uniting to make collective improvements to terms and conditions, staff at Vice in the UK have sent a letter to their colleagues saying: “Vice UK staff are incredibly hard working, ambitious and creative and we like working at Vice. We are doing this because we want to continue to make the company a success while also sharing in that success.”
The letter said:
"To our friends and colleagues,
"You may be aware that staff across several departments are in talks about forming a union at Vice UK and we want everyone to get involved.
"We enjoy working at Vice. We appreciate our creative freedom. We also believe organising our workplace is the best way to keep pushing journalistic boundaries while allowing all staff to share in the success of the company. Last year Vice US unionised with the Writer’s Guild and now it’s our turn with the National Union of Journalists.
"Below are some of the improvements we want to make, but they are only the beginning!"
PAY AND BENEFITS
We want a fair and transparent system for our pay and benefits. We want pay issues addressed so everyone gets a fair deal, including freelancers. We also believe there should be a simple process to regularly negotiate collective pay raises and improvements to benefits.
For us to perform to the best of our ability and keep talented staff, we need secure contracts. Short-term contracts affect our ability to plan work for the future and job insecurity means we cannot plan finances, housing, or holiday time. We lose talented colleagues as a result of this instability.
WORK / LIFE BALANCE
We are hard workers, but we also need our own time. Having weekends and holidays means we can recover from a pressurised work environment. We also need to be able to discuss appropriate staffing, time off in lieu, and policies to ensure our mental and physical wellbeing.
We want to keep progressing in our careers at Vice. Currently opportunities for progression are unclear and we would like strategic investment in training. We want a fair and transparent recruitment process and a functioning appraisal system so we can have a better future at Vice.
STRUCTURE AT WORK
It’s exciting that we’re growing rapidly, but we still need a clear staff and management structure. We want titles commensurate with pay, clear duties and responsibilities, and an easy way to ensure company business gets taken care of.