NBC News Digital union says it took 18 months to reach tentative agreement on diversity with execs

By Michael P. Hill Article may include affiliate links

NBC News Digital’s union announced that it has reached a tentative agreement on diversity, equity and inclusion with network management — a process it says took 18 months.

“For the past year and a half, NBC has fought to strip our diversity proposal of all enforcement mechanisms. If NBC violated the contract, we would have no recourse. Nothing would be grievable, nothing enforceable,” the union wrote on its Twitter account Feb. 15, 2022.

Union reps met with NBC leadership Feb. 14, 2022, to attempt nail down contract language that would set accountability to public statements about DEI. During that meeting, multiple current and former unit members shared stories about what they labeled as newsroom microaggressions, pay inequity and lack of opportunity.

Eventually a tentative agreement was reached, with the union saying NBC fought hardest about diversity in interview processes.

NBC News Digital did not immediately return a request for comment on the union’s claims or tentative agreement.

If passed and signed, the new deal would, according to the union, require 50% of applicants who are chosen for initial interviews to be women and 50% must be people of color.

Back in 2020, NBCUniversal News Group Chairman Cesar Conde set a goal of have a 50% “diverse” workforce across the entire division, not just digital, though he did not specify a timeline for meeting that goal or specific details on how that would be accomplished.

At the time he noted 27% of the unit’s staff identified as Black, Latino, Asian, Native American or multiracial and nearly 50% of the staff are women.

He notably dubbed the initiative the “50% challenge.”