Writers Guild, CBS Settle News Writers Contract
The Writers Guild of America and CBS have reached a tentative agreement regarding nearly 500 local and national CBS news writers, editors, desk assistants, production assistants, graphic artists, promotion writers and researchers.
Those employees having been working without a contract since April 1, 2005.
Under the terms of the new agreement, which still has to be ratified by membership, employees will receive a 3.5% pay raise and an equal increase in 2009. Employees who worked more than 200 days in 2007 will receive an additional $3,700; those who worked fewer hours will get a pro-rated sum.
CBS dropped its demand to create a two-tiered workforce that would given local radio employees lower pay raises, as well as its demand to assign current WGA duties at Los Angeles’ KNX Radio to non-WGA employees.
In a statement, CBS said, "We are gratified that a tentative agreement has been reached so that CBS and its valued WGA news employees can put this chapter behind us. Our focus throughout the process has been on reaching a fair agreement and we think this contract is good for both sides."
“This is good news for news writers and I congratulate them. After months without negotiations, once bargaining resumed we were able to reach an agreement quickly,” said Patric M. Verrone, WGA West president.
“We ask CBS to come back to the table with the will to make a deal with striking film and television writers,” he added.
The new contract will expire April 1, 2010.
2:40: Updated with CBS statement