WGA, CBS strike tentative deal


CBS and the CBS news employees represented by the WGA yesterday agreed on a new contract for the WGA-CBS news employees. The agreement, which has been approved unanimously by the WGA-CBS Negotiating Committee, must still be ratified by a membership vote.  The contract covers approximately 500 newswriters, editors, desk assistants, production assistants, graphic artists, promotion writers, and researchers working in television and radio on the national and local levels.

"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,” said CBS in a statement. “Our focus throughout the process has been on reaching a fair agreement and we think this contract is good for both sides."

If ratified, the new contract will run until 4/1/10. WGA-repped CBS News employees will receive a 3.5% raise upon ratification and again in ‘09. WGA said that most regularly scheduled employees who worked 200+ days in ‘07 and didn’t receive salary increases during the negotiations will receive an additional 3,700 payment. Employees who worked shorter schedules will get pro-rated payments.

Said WGA West president Patric Verrone: "This is good news for newswriters and I congratulate them. After months without negotiations, once bargaining resumed we were able to reach an agreement quickly. We ask CBS to come back to the table with the will to make a deal with striking film and television writers."