At long last, a resolution to the (other) strike
A joint statement from the WGA, East and West, regarding their new agreement with CBS:
NEW YORK CITY -- The Writers Guilds of America, East and West (WGAE and WGAW) and CBS have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract for the WGA-CBS employees who have been working under an expired contract since April 1, 2005. The agreement, which has been approved unanimously by the WGA-CBS Negotiating Committee, must still be ratified by membership vote. The contract covers approximately 500 newswriters, editors, desk assistants, production assistants, graphic artists, promotion writers, and researchers working in television and radio on the national and local levels.
The new contract, which becomes effective upon membership ratification, runs until April 1, 2010. Under the terms of the agreement, WGA-CBS employees will receive a 3.5% raise upon ratification of the contract and again in 2009. In addition, most regularly scheduled employees who worked 200 days or more in 2007 and did not receive wage increases during the negotiations time frame will receive an additional $3,700 payment. Employees who worked shorter schedules will receive pro-rated payments.
“This has been a long struggle, but our members became mobilized and engaged in a way they have never been before," says Mona Mangan, executive director of the Writers Guild of America, East. "This contract truly belongs to them."
“This has been a difficult process,” says Michael Winship, president of the Writers Guild of America, East. “We are pleased that it has resulted in an agreement that will protect our members at CBS News and insure that they will continue to bring their exceptional skills, creativity and know-how to the production of quality broadcast journalism.”
“This is good news for newswriters and I congratulate them. After months without negotiations, once bargaining resumed we were able to reach an agreement quickly,” says Patric M. Verrone, president of the Writers Guild of America, West. “We ask CBS to come back to the table with the will to make a deal with striking film and television writers.”
In reaching this agreement, CBS dropped its demand to create a two-tiered work force that would have provided lower salary increases for local radio employees and its demand for the right to assign current WGA responsibilities at KNX Radio to non-WGA employees. In addition, both parties agreed to a 90-day notification and bargaining period should CBS decide to consolidate operations under its rights provided under the law. During this 90-day period, no changes to the contract may be imposed. If no resolution is reached during the 90-day period, the contract allows either party to pursue all legal and contractual options under the law, including filing cases at the National Labor Relations Board.