Staff Representative Bill Murray Celebrates 20 Years with Sector

On January 6, William “Bill” Murray celebrated 20 years as a NABET-CWA Staff Representative, negotiating contracts, handling grievances, arbitrations and other workplace issues for Union members in the northeastern United States.

            Murray started out as a commercial producer for WICZ-TV in Binghamton, N.Y., where he also served as a Union Shop Steward and NABET-CWA Local 26 President for nine years. Dealing with some difficult struggles at the Local gave him the experience necessary to work for the Sector. In 1997, NABET-CWA President Emeritus John Clark hired him as a NABET-CWA Staff Representative.

            “We went through a lot with the Company and had to run mobilization campaigns in 1992 and 1995,” said Murray. “Thankfully, I had wonderful mentors in Don Jernigan, Ed Spillett and Mike Tiglio, who gave me incredible guidance for this job.”

            Murray has been instrumental in gaining victories at the bargaining table and in the legislative arena, staving off budget cuts to PBS stations, including those in Albany (WMHT-TV) and Binghamton (WSKG-TV). In 2004, proposed budget cuts to public broadcasting by the New York State Legislature would have threatened WSKG and other PBS stations across the state. Effective lobbying in Albany by Local 26, with help from Locals 21, 25 and the Sector, resulted in those budget cuts being withdrawn, and saved the jobs of virtually everyone working at the station, including management.

            He noted an especially gratifying “David v. Goliath” story – a 2007 contract win by 14 members at PBS station WITF radio and TV in Harrisburg, PA. The members withstood threats of jurisdiction changes, as well as job and wage cuts to win a contract that preserved job security and required management to fill vacant jobs.

            “They really stood their ground against management. Any time the members are victorious, I’m happy,” Murray said. “I’m very proud of all of my locals.”

            Murray developed the first NABET-CWA website, and said he really enjoys working with the current Sector staff.

            “It’s a nice milestone. It’s a lot of years,” he said of his 20th anniversary.

            Murray, who hails from Scranton, PA, lives in Binghamton with his wife of 31 years, Kate Murray, who is the Secretary of NABET-CWA Local 26 and the president of the Broome County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. They have a daughter Molly, and two sons, Marty and Devin. Bill and Kate are strong supporters of the local labor, political and mental health communities in Broome and Tioga counties in New York, as well as the Broome County Arts Council.