Scholastic Employees Rally for Fair Wages and a Strong Contract

Workers call out publishing company for slow-walking contract negotiations and underpaying workers after their contract expired in May 2022


NEW YORK – Dozens of Scholastic Union members rallied at the company’s headquarters
today to protest Scholastic’s slow-walking of contract negotiations and refusing to offer a fair
deal, including retroactive pay and remote work rights, to workers.

The 82 members of the Scholastic Union are represented by The NewsGuild of New York.
The union’s last collective bargaining contract with the children’s publishing powerhouse
Scholastic Inc. expired in May 2022. Employees have been bargaining with the company since
last October but management has yet to agree to important demands around retroactive pay
and remote work protections.

“I believe in the work I do at Scholastic, but I get paid so little here that I can barely make rent.
Scholastic hasn’t even compensated us for the work we did during the pandemic, even though
we’re the ones who kept the company going during the darkest days of COVID. Scholastic has
more than enough to make sure we’re paid what we’re worth. It’s a question of who Scholastic
wants to serve: a handful of executives at the top, or workers like us who make the company
run,” said Alison Colby, a Production Editor at Scholastic.

Scholastic management has dragged its feet at the bargaining table and refused to offer
retroactive pay that would cover the cost of inflation. Many employees struggle to afford the cost
of living in New York City under their current salaries.

The company has also refused to update and formalize its remote work policy, putting the
company out of step with the rest of the publishing industry and the economy at large.
Scholastic has failed to formalize hybrid work options in writing since before 2020, even though
90% of the company has used remote work effectively to keep the company prosperous during
the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, workers have to rely on verbal assurances of flexibility that
could be revoked at any moment.

“Scholastic may teach children to be kind to others, but it refuses to extend the same kindness
to its own employees. As inflation has soared over the past few years, Scholastic has failed to
raise our wages to reflect growing costs or offer formal remote work options for those of us who
can no longer afford to live in New York. The current pace is unsustainable, and that’s why we’re
out here demanding Scholastic come to the bargaining table and agree to a fair contract once

and for all,” said Alexandra Lim-Chua Wee, a member of the Scholastic Union Bargaining
Committee and a Senior Associate Editor at Scholastic.

A number of units represented by The NewsGuild of New York have won remote-work rights in
their contracts in recent weeks after a series of collective actions, including The New York Times
Guild and Insider Union.

“It’s time for Scholastic management to walk the walk, not just talk the talk,” said Susan
DeCarava, president of The NewsGuild of New York. “Scholastic has built its brand on a
commitment to respect for every individual, but it’s falling short of those values at the bargaining
table. Scholastic’s remote work policy is out of step with its peers in publishing and media, and
wages aren’t enough to cover the bare essentials of the workers who are central to its ongoing
success. Now is the time for Scholastic to truly live up to its values and make sure its employees
are compensated fairly.”

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