A tentative agreement has been reached on a new contract for some 250 ABC News employees (including some WABC-TV personnel) who are members of the Writers Guild of America, East, and had been working under a contract that expired in January 2005.
A ratification vote is scheduled for Dec. 13 at meetings in New York and Washington, D.C.
Under the deal, ABC employees who are WGAE members—including some news writers, editors, desk assistants, production assistants, graphic artists and researchers in New York and Washington—would receive raises of 3.5% annually. In addition, there would be a one-time bonus ($3,700 for full-time employees, pro-rated for per diem or newer employees) paid to individuals in specific consideration of the parties’ settlement of pending National Labor Relations Board charges.
The new contract would be effective upon ratification and would expire February 1, 2010.
Among other changes, night shift differential would be lowered by one hour in the second year of the contract; acting editor fees would be increased; and a new fee for production assistants would be established. The new contract also would diminish payment for a missed lunch period in network radio and decrease payment for operations room work in network radio while grandfathering current employees.
“We expect the membership to ratify this contract, and we can now continue our work of delivering quality news to the public,” WGAE executive director Mona Mangan said Thursday in announcing the tentative agreement.
“We are pleased, after three long years of negotiations, to be able to make a deal,” ABC labor relations senior VP Jeff Ruthizer said. “We value our WGA-represented employees and we look forward to a positive ratification vote that will allow both sides to put this behind them.”
11 a.m.: Updated throughout