CBS and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers announced they have reached a tentative agreement on a contract covering 2,800 technicians. The three-year deal has been struck months before the existing contract next January.
The current collective bargaining agreement was scheduled to expire on January 31, 2012. In 2010, the parties extended the current agreement and committed to reach a new, long-term one by July 31, 2011.
Once ratified by the IBEW members covered, the new contract will be effective through January 31, 2015.
“We are pleased to conclude this agreement ahead of schedule. The contract lays the foundation for continued cooperation between CBS and the IBEW as we confront the constantly changing world of media and explore new opportunities together,” said IBEW International President Ed Hill stated,
“This new early agreement demonstrates the strength of the working relationship between CBS and the IBEW and reaffirms CBS’s commitment to the IBEW’s highly skilled workforce,” said CBS Corporation President and CEO Les Moonves.
Major provisions of the new, long-term contract include pay increases of 2.5% that will take effect on July 31, 2011, February 3, 2013, and February 2, 2014. The parties agreed to greater flexibility in some working conditions such as jurisdiction and will explore labor-management partnership opportunities. Health care, usually a contentious issue in labor negotiations, was not a significant factor, the parties said, as the employees will continue to be covered under the CBS Healthcare Plan or the Entertainment Industry’s’ Flex Care Plan.
The IBEW represents CBS workers in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., St. Louis, San Francisco, Dallas, Miami and Atlanta, in addition to supplying a skilled workforce for all events televised on CBS Sports and CBS News.
The contract will be sent to IBEW members for ratification within the next few weeks. The process is expected to be completed by July 29, 2011.