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By Jeremy Appel, Rankandfile.ca

After two years without a contract, unionized staff at Canada’s National Observer have reached their first agreement with management, continuing a trend of journalists at new media outlets organizing their workplaces.

The five-year contract offers immediate pay increases for most staff, a company-contributed pension plan, equipment and expense allowances, overtime compensation and an annual three per cent pay bump, according to a joint June 21 news release from the Canadian Media Guild, which includes the National Observer union, and management.

“We are now positioned as one of the few media start-ups – or even small businesses – to offer this level of benefits to our staff, and we are so pleased to lead the way,” said National Observer CEO and editor-in-chief Linda Solomon-Wood, who founded the outlet in 2015.

Morgan Sharp, a National Observer reporter covering youth issues in Toronto, told Rankandfile.ca the agreement was unanimously ratified after a “longer-than-expected process.”

Organizing its workers was relatively painless for PressProgress, given the progressive online outlets unabashedly pro-labour editorial slant.

PressProgress is run by the non-profit Broadbent Institute, whose workers pursued an organization-wide union drive around the time PressProgress began expanding.

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