Bulletin 40 - Tentative Agreement with ABC-Disney

Bulletin

NABET-CWA/ABC-Disney Negotiations

Washington, DC

BULLETIN #40

March 25, 2013

Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Director George H. Cohen issued the following statement today on the labor negotiations between ABC Inc. and the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians-Communications Workers of America (NABET-CWA):

"I am pleased to announce that at the culmination of a marathon bargaining session conducted under my auspices, the parties have reached a comprehensive initial Memorandum of Agreement."

"The Agreement is subject to union ratification, but it represents a major step toward the successful completion of long and difficult negotiations."   


Additionally, the NABET-CWA Network Negotiating Committee is reporting the following:

A tentative agreement has been reached with ABC-Disney on a new four year contract to replace the Master Agreement which expired on March 31, 2011. This contract offer is the result of a fifteen hour mediation session conducted on March 22, 2013 at the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. That mediation session was led by National FMCS Director George H. Cohen.

The new contract, when ratified, will cover approximately 2500 staff and daily hire employees working as broadcast technicians, telecommunications specialists, newswriters, producers, desk assistants, publicists, and plant maintenance personnel at various Company Network and TV station operations in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington D.C. The contract includes ABC news and entertainment programs and ESPN sports broadcasts airing on ABC. Nationally syndicated talk shows “Katie” and “Live with Kelly and Michael”, as well as the ESPN programs “Pardon the Interruption”, “Around the Horn”, and “Highly Questionable” are also covered by this agreement. Additionally, this new contract establishes NABET-CWA’s jurisdiction for ABC provided content for the newly launched “Fusion” cable news channel, a joint venture between ABC-Disney and Univision.

While complete details of the contract offer will be made available within the next few days, this package contains a number of improvements from ABC’s stated “Last, Best and Final” offer. These improvements include enhancements in the areas of economics, jurisdiction, and retirement benefits for staff and daily hire employees. The contract offer was also improved to add an additional year of security to the agreement, setting a new expiration date of March 31, 2017, as well as an additional wage increase. The new contract also requires early negotiations for the next Master Agreement, commencing by October 1, 2016, with automatic involvement of Federal Mediators if a successor contract is not reached by March 1, 2017.

The wage offer contains a total of 9% (up from 6.5%) in wage increases over the next four years (2.5%, 2.0%, 2.0%, and 2.5%) effective March 30, 2013, if the offer is ratified by May 17, 2013.

NABET-CWA Locals 16 (New York), 31 (Washington, D.C.), 41 (Chicago), 51 (San Francisco) and 57 (Los Angeles) will be conducting membership meetings and providing further information on this contract offer during the ratification process.

In the meantime, we remind you to ignore all rumors. All official updates will be delivered on the Sector website (www.nabetcwa.org), on Local websites, hotlines, and e-mail lists.

In Solidarity,

NABET-CWA Network Negotiating Committee

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