St. Louis Station Reaches Agreement with Union, Ends Months-Long Boycott

By Kevin Eck 

St. Louis NBC affiliate KSDK has reached an agreement with IBEW Local 4, ending a months-long boycott by the union.

The new three-year agreement with the station includes raises, new hires into the bargaining unit and a guarantee to hire union workers to replace retirees. The Labor Tribune said members ratified the agreement on July 29.

Local 4 represents St. Louis television and radio workers not only at KSDK, but all other stations as well as video production studios and remote sports and entertainment productions in the St. Louis market.


“Going into this contract negotiation we had concern about the ongoing reduction of our bargaining unit we’ve experience in the last few years that was contrary to what they had assured us when we gave them some allowances a few years ago,” said IBEW Local 4 business manager and financial secretary Mike Pendergast. “The real issue for us was putting a thumb in the dam to stop that work from going away.”

The Tribune posted a look at what’s in the contract:

Additional union positions – The new contract assures presence of two bargaining unit positions in marketing /sales and an agreement to retain those two positions for the term of the three-year contract.
An agreement to replace retiring photographer/editors with new bargaining unit hires.
Lowers salary progression to four years from seven.
Eliminates discretionary bonuses to bargaining unit employees, so all unit employees will receive the same companywide bonuses as other employees.
Juneteenth added as a personal holiday.
Establishes a higher wage rate for full-time, part-time and temporary employees.
During negotiations, Local 4 also resolved an outstanding grievance where two unit members were not being allowed to progress on the salary scale. Tegna agreed to the union’s interpretation of the issue and the two employees will receive top scale going forward.
Local 4 agreed to provide the same allowance included in the last contract to allow work sharing between unions to give the station flexibility and a better handle on costs, so long as it does not result in shrinking the bargaining unit.

“This station is still way behind the other stations in town,” Pendergast said. “However, the increases are comparable to what the other television stations received.”

We asked Tegna about it and will update when we hear back.