NEW YORK CITY and LOS ANGELES – Members of the Writers Guilds of America, East and West (WGAE and WGAW) employed at CBS News have ratified their new collective bargaining agreement soundly. The vote was: 83 % yes; 17% no. The three-year contract covers newswriters, writer/producers, editors, desk assistants, production assistants, graphic artists, and promotion writers working in television and radio on the national and local levels in New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.
The contract, which runs from April 2, 2010 through April 6, 2013, provides solid economic support for members. CBS News staff employees will now be eligible for the Writers Guild pension fund, and the Guilds negotiated minimums for writer-producers for the first time. The contract also establishes minimum representation percentages at local television shops for the first time, guaranteeing the Guilds have a meaningful presence at CBS News as the broadcast news business continues to transform.
In an era where non-guild employees face wage freezes, contract salary rates will actually increase 2% in January 2011 and another 2% in April 2012 under the new Guild contract. Freelance/per diem employees will receive two additional 1% increases over the contract term.
“We achieved our main goals of ensuring that the Guilds and our members have a solid future at CBS News and also realize economic gains. Getting members into the Guild pension plan is a major advance, and we are pleased to also get wage increases for our members,” said Lowell Peterson, executive director of the Writers Guild of America, East.
“In these difficult economic times, and with the news business in such a period of serious change, we are pleased that our unions have successfully negotiated and voted approval of a new contract with CBS News. All credit and thanks to the hardworking, committed members of the negotiating committee and the staffs of the Guilds East and West,” said Michael Winship, president of the Writers Guild of America, East.
“We want to thank the members of the negotiating committee for the countless hours of work they put into this effort. Their dedication helps keep our unions strong,” said John Wells, president of the Writers Guild of America, West.
The WGA West just issued its first Contract Bulletin about the upcoming TV/Theatrical contract about to be negotiated with the AMPTP. Issues discussed include New Media and Pension & Health:
WGAW Member Meetings to Discuss Negotiations for the 2011 Contract
Please join President John Wells, Executive Director David Young, Negotiating Committee Co-Chairs John Bowman and Billy Ray, and members of the WGAW Board to discuss plans for the upcoming negotiations and potential priorities for contract demands. Members will have the chance to give input and pose questions to Guild leaders. Los Angeles area members can choose from three meeting opportunities:
Tuesday, November 9, 7:00 p.m. at the Sportsmen’s Lodge
4234 Coldwater Canyon Ave., Studio City
Tuesday, November 16, 7:00 p.m. at the Loews Santa Monica
Beach Hotel, 1700 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica
Thursday, Dec 2, 7:00 p.m. at the Writers Guild Theater
135 South Doheny Dr., Beverly Hills
Challenges for the Guild this Year
As hard as it may be to believe, we are now entering the final six months of the contract we negotiated to end our 2007 strike. With our contract expiring on May 1, 2011, your Board and staff have been working over the last year to identify the areas we believe will need to be addressed in our upcoming 2011 MBA negotiations. This process has involved months of staff effort, extensive surveys of our members in screen and television, and many hours of Board discussion.
Los Angeles and New York – The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) have announced that the 2011 Writers Guild Awards will be held on Saturday, February 5, 2011 at simultaneous ceremonies in Los Angeles and New York to honor outstanding writing in film, television, news, radio, promotional, and graphic animation awards categories. Here’s the 2010-2011 timeline: