NABET-CWA and ABC Reach Tentative Agreement

By Kevin Eck 

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.”

When ratified, the agreement will cover approximately 2500 staff and daily hire employees working as broadcast technicians, telecommunications specialists, newswriters, producers, desk assistants, publicists and plant maintenance personnel working at ABC network and ABC owned stations in New York (WABC), Chicago (WLS), Los Angeles (KABC) and San Francisco (KGO).

The contract also covers ABC News and entertainment programs as well as ESPN broadcasts airing on ABC. ESPN programs “Pardon the Interruption,” “Around the Horn,” and “Highly Questionable” are also covered as well as ABC shows “Katie” and “Live with Kelly and Michael.” The new contract also establishes NABET-CWA’s jurisdiction over the new ABC-Disney and Univision venture “Fusion.”

The contract is subject to ratification.