WGA East on CBS News Writers Strike Authorization Vote

As the 81 % pro-strike authorization vote by about 500 unionized CBS producers, editors, graphic artists and newswriters sinks in, Sherry Goldman, the spokesperson for WGA East emails FishbowlNY:

”Everyone is very pleased with the strong vote results. We don’t know when a strike will be called but it is our hope that this strong showing will get CBS back to the bargaining table so we can get our members a fair and respectful contract.”

CBS’ response to the strike authorization vote (via TVNewser) after the jump …

”It is unfortunate that our WGA news writers have voted to authorize a strike. The offer we presented nearly a year ago was fair and reasonable, and remains on the table. It not only includes one of the best medical plans in the country with minimal employee contributions, but fair salary increases to all WGA employees as well. In fact, contrary to what the WGA contends, CBS proposed an annual increase of 3% for television and network radio, and 2% for the radio stations covered by this agreement. The lower percentage increases the WGA continues to cite are based on spreading the increases as if they were retroactive to April 2005; the offer of retroactivity expired after CBS had made numerous attempts over a long period of time to conduct and conclude negotiations. As to the issue of assigning current WGA responsibilities at KNX radio to non-WGA employees, here are the facts: we are simply asking that some writing duties be shared with those from another professional talent union (AFTRA) at a sister station in Los Angeles. This request seems fair given that AFTRA employees had already agreed to it, and that we are offering layoff protection to any worker at KNX affected by the change. We hope there is no strike. Should there be, however, CBS News, CBS Television Stations and CBS Radio remains fully prepared, and ready to continue producing the highest quality news programming for our viewers.”