NABET-CWA and ABC-TV Reach Tentative Agreement on Four-Year Deal

  NABET-CWA and ABC-TV Reach Tentative Agreement on Four-Year Deal

Business Wire

WASHINGTON -- March 25, 2013

The National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians-Communications
Workers of America (NABET-CWA) and the American Broadcasting Companies (ABC,
Inc), a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, have reached a tentative
agreement on a new four-year contract to replace the one that expired March
31, 2011. NABET-CWA President James C. Joyce and the members of the five-city
bargaining committee are unanimously recommending that the membership ratify
the offer by May 17, 2013.

NABET-CWA and ABC reached this settlement after a fifteen-hour mediation
session on March 22, 2013 in Washington, D.C. Those mediation efforts were led
by George H. Cohen, the national Director of the Federal Mediation and
Conciliation Service. CWA President Larry Cohen joined the Union’s bargaining
committee at the table during the marathon mediation session. The tentative
agreement contains significant improvements to ABC’s July 17, 2012 stated
“last, best and final” offer.

“After two-years of protracted negotiations, this latest round of mediation
has produced a breakthrough, and this offer is now worthy of our members’
consideration,” said NABET-CWA President Joyce. He added, “The persistence of
our members and our bargaining committee to achieve a fair contract was
instrumental in this outcome. NABET-CWA also appreciates the full involvement
of FMCS Director George H. Cohen and CWA President Larry Cohen in producing
the tentative agreement.”

The new contract, when ratified, will cover approximately 2500 staff and daily
hire employees working as broadcast technicians, telecommunications
specialists, newswriters, producers, desk assistants, publicists, and plant
maintenance personnel at various Company Network and TV station operations in
New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington D.C. The contract
includes ABC news and entertainment programs and ESPN sports broadcasts airing
on ABC. Nationally syndicated talk shows “Katie” and “Live with Kelly and
Michael,” as well as the ESPN programs “Pardon the Interruption,” “Around the
Horn,” and “Highly Questionable” are also covered by this agreement.
Additionally, this new contract establishes NABET-CWA’s jurisdiction for ABC
provided content for the newly launched “Fusion” cable news channel, a joint
venture between ABC-Disney and Univision.

Complete details of the contract offer will be made available to the
membership within the next few days. Enhancements from ABC’s last offer were
obtained in the areas of economics, jurisdiction, and retirement benefits for
staff and daily hire employees. The contract offer was also improved to add an
additional year of security to the agreement, setting a new expiration date of
March 31, 2017, as well as an additional wage increase. The new contract also
requires early negotiations for the next Master Agreement, commencing by
October 1, 2016, with automatic involvement of Federal Mediators if a
successor contract is not reached by March 1, 2017.

The wage offer contains a total of 9% in wage increases over the next four
years (2.5%, 2.0%, 2.0%, and 2.5%) effective March 30, 2013, if the contract
is ratified by May 17, 2013.


Jim Joyce, 202-434-1254
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