Independent Report

WTIC-TV/FOX CT – Hartford, CT (Local 17)

The new NABET-CWA unit at WTIC ratified their first contract on July 20. The two-year deal included two 2% wage increases for those not under a PSC and outlined job descriptions, minimum hourly rates, work rules, minimum hours of pay for work on days off, vacation, and holidays. The contract also included 26 weeks’ severance, just cause, and expedited arbitration. The 55-member unit of anchors, reporters, meteorologists, news photographers, editors and assignment desk editors voted to join NABET-CWA in 2015. The bargaining committee, led by NABET-CWA Staff Representative Bill Murray, included Reporter Jeevan Vittal, Photographer Ryan Bernat, and Local 17 President Andy Halpin.

WTNH-TV – New Haven, CT (Local 14)

The Directors unit ratified a contract on July 12. Negotiations for a successor agreement for the Technicians/Photographers continued in July, August and September. According to NABET-CWA Staff Representative Lou Fallot, a deal is within reach with Nexstar, which “came to the table willing to negotiate.”

Another round of talks is possible in October. The bargaining committee includes Local 14 President Joe D’Addese, Vice President John Coleman, Sec-Treasurer Jim Bagley, and Lou Fallot.

KTCA-TV – Minneapolis, MN (Local 411)

An agreement was ratified with Twin Cities Public Television in August. The new agreement will run from Jan. 1, 2017, through Aug. 31, 2020. Wage increases of 2.5% are retroactive to Jan 1, 2017, followed by increases of 2%, 2% per year and 1.3% for the last 8 months of the agreement. The main sticking point was jurisdiction and use of non-unit employees for broadcast work. The Union was able to negotiate job protections, opportunities for new work on digital platforms and exclusive jurisdiction over several new cameras. The bargaining committee included Local 411 President Joe Kaczynski, Mike Phillips, Terry Grey, Clayton Henderson, and NABET-CWA Staff Representative Eric Seggi.

Hockey Western NY (Buffalo Sabres) – Buffalo, NY (Local 25)

Negotiations took place in June and July, coming to terms on a number of items. The Union is waiting for the Company’s response on jurisdiction and management rights and hopes to reach a final agreement soon.

WIVB-TV – Buffalo, NY (Local 25)

The two sides met in July and August and made minor progress on a new contract for the 50-member unit of photog/editors, production employees, technicians, and maintenance. The Company continues to have a significant number of proposals on the table, including jurisdiction, definition of employees, grievance/arbitration, job descriptions, etc. More talks are scheduled for early October. The previous contract expired on March 26. The bargaining committee includes Ron Gabalski, Rich Ersing, Jim Diavastes, and NABET-CWA Staff Representative Eric Seggi.

WJLA-TV – Washington, D.C. (Local 31)

The Union’s negotiating committee presented a new comprehensive package to the Company prior to talks that were held in August. Bargaining has been ongoing since October 2015. The Union had prepared a comprehensive package, but the Company would not come to the table to exchange proposals. The Company wanted to have the ability to cut full-time employees’ minimum 40-hour guaranteed work per week. We are working under an extension agreement with a 14-day cancellation clause.

WDIV-TV – Detroit, MI (Local 43)

The Company presented a comprehensive proposal to the Union during talks that were held on June 22. The Union provided the Company a response in late August but no agreement has been reached. Bargaining dates have been scheduled for early October.

WJRT-TV – Flint, MI (Local 46)

With the help of a federal mediator, an agreement was reached on Sept. 18 for the 15-member unit, which had been working under a contract extension. The two-year contract includes a wage increase of 2% in the first year and 2.25% in the second year. A ratification vote is scheduled for Oct. 1. If ratified, the agreement will run through Sept. 30, 2019. The bargaining committee includes Local 46 President Sheldon Neely, Mike Adams, Brandon Milbrot, Local 46 Secretary Jerry Look and NABET-CWA Staff Representative Eric Seggi.

WJMJ-TV – Youngstown, OH (Local 47)

The Union met with the Company for two days in August on a contract for the 15-member News unit: reporters, anchors and MMJ employees. Some progress was made during the talks, but the two sides are still apart on economics and MMJ duties, including live shots. Further talks are scheduled in September. The agreement, which was set to expire on Aug. 24, has been extended. The bargaining committee includes Matt Stone, Kate Keller, Danielle Cotterman and NABET-CWA Staff Representative Eric Seggi.

WTRF-TV – Wheeling, WV (Local 212)

One bargaining session was held in July. The Union and the Company are still apart on seniority, dues check-off, and grievance/arbitration. With the sudden passing of Local 212 President John Green, who was on the bargaining committee, no new dates are scheduled at this time.

WJW-TV/Fox 8 – Cleveland, OH (Local 42)

The bargaining committee sent a reopener letter and is preparing for bargaining with potential new station owner, Sinclair Broadcast Group. WJW, which has had eight different owners since 1985, is one of 43 Tribune Broadcasting stations being sold to the expanding media company.

As published in the Fall 2017 NABET News