Niesha Gates — Our Wonderful President Moves On

Niesha Gates 2013

Niesha Gates, president of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, has landed a dream job for any former college student. She gets paid to start talking about the teachers.

Niesha will become communications specialist for the California Faculty Association, which describes itself as “a union of 23,000 professors, lecturers, librarians, counselors and coaches who teach in the California State University system.”

Great for her. A loss for us.

“Niesha has been just what our Local needed these past couple of years,” Executive Officer Carl Hall said. “She brought an unflappable cool to our meetings, was always respectful of everybody and kept our meetings on track, even if a couple of children (her own) sometimes showed up.”

Gates concludes her first term as president of Local 39521 at the end of 2013. Previously, she held the position of unit chair and served as a steward at The Sacramento Bee. Lately she’s been editor of the Sacramento Valley Union Labor Bulletin, one of our smaller (Niesha was the only member!) but most favorite Guild units.

“I loved every moment of being a member of the Guild and serving in various leadership roles,” Gates said. “My Guild brothers and sisters are truly that – family – and always will be. The Newspaper Guild, and our Local in particular, have taught me to be a better journalist and a better humanitarian, and the lessons I’ve learned in my years as a union journalist will always be at the forefront of my mind and heart.”

She has been an integral part of McClatchy bargaining teams for many years, even after she left the Bee. She is a well-respected newspaper reporter, gifted writer, peacemaker, fun-loving mother of two, and die-hard advocate of the labor movement.

A union person for life, Niesha never tires of her commitment to fighting for working families. We wish her all the best in her new job, and thank the California Faculty Association for recognizing her talents.


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Michael Applegate

Pacific Media Workers Executive Officer

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