Unit elects officers, prepares for negotiations

The new Rockford/Freeport unit of the United Media Guild elected officers during its first official meeting Sunday.

Veteran Rockford Register Star reporter Melissa Westphal was elected president of the unit. The group elected Register Star photographer Max Gersh as the vice chair and copy editor Paula Buckner as recording secretary.

Westphal and Gersh led the organizing drive that led to the successful representation election for Rockford and Freeport journalists.

The unit will soon begin bargaining its first collective bargaining agreement with GateHouse Media. The UMG also represents GateHouse journalists at the Peoria Journal Star, the State Journal-Register in Springfield and the Pekin Daily Times.

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