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Unions

NABET Rejects Latest Contract Offer from Michigan Station

wnem_nabet_304Members of the union representing workers at WNEM have rejected the latest offer from the Meredith owned Saginaw, MI, CBS affiliate.

“WNEM’s latest contract proposal would severely jeopardized (sic) workers’ job security, retirement security, work jurisdiction and reduce on-air employees to ‘at will’ employment status,” Zara Maldonado, president of NABET-CWA Local 54048, said in a statement.

Maldonado told TVSpy, “Meredith is doing fine economically, and these demands are unnecessarily delaying reaching an agreement on a fair contract.”

The two sides have been working on a deal for nearly a year and half. The current contract expires November 3. Read more

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NABET-CWA and ABC Reach Tentative Agreement

The National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians has announced it has reached a tentative four year labor agreement with ABC, inc.

“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.” Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Director George H. Cohen said in a statement. “The Agreement is subject to union ratification, but it represents a major step toward the successful completion of long and difficult negotiations.”

NABET-CWA said the new contract was reached after a fifteen hour mediation session and includes wage increases and improved retirement benefits. “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.” Read more

SAG President Announces AFTRA Merger During Awards Show: ‘Historic Moment of Unity Is at Hand’

Ken Howard, president of the Screen Actors Guild, took time out of Sunday night’s televised SAG Awards to announce that the union’s board had reached an agreement with AFTRA, which represents thousands of TV journalists, to merge the two organizations.

“This weekend, our boards have overwhelmingly endorsed a plan for the merger of SAG and AFTRA,” Howard told those in the awards show audience, as well as viewers watching at home.

“We have been hard at work in creating a plan for a single union that will give our members maximum strength throughout the entertainment and media industries,” he said. “And I am so proud to say that that historic moment of unity is at hand.”

The proposed merger is now up for a vote by the unions’ members.

AFTRA Protests at WTAE in Ongoing Union Fight

The fight between station management and on-air talent continues at WTAE, the ABC-affiliate in Pittsburgh.

At a rally at the station last week, a group of community leaders delivered 2,000 petition signatures and postcards from the public to WTAE management. The union also encouraged viewers to call Mike Hayes, the general manager of WTAE, and express support for the station talent during the hours of the rally.

Reporters and anchors at WTAE voted for union representation 18 months ago, but there has been little progress in negotiations with Hearst, the parent company of WTAE. Earlier this month, station talent launched a social media campaign called “Fairness 4 WTAE.”