WGA Members Ratify New Contract With CBS News

Some 260 WGA members employed at CBS News have voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new three-year contract. The new agreement, which was approved by 89% of those who voted, the guild said Monday, covers WGA East and WGA West members who work as news writers, producers, graphic artists, desk associates and others at the network’s news operations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington D.C.

“In a challenging environment, we were able to make real gains,” said WGA East executive director Lowell Peterson. “Because our members at CBS News mobilized and made their voices heard, we won a solid contract that raises pay, includes a hefty boost in pension contributions, increases fees, and makes transformational gains for longer-term ‘temporary’ employees – severance pay and parental leave.”

According to the WGA, highlights of the contract include:

• Staff will get 2% minimum salary increases each year and full pension rate increase will be paid by the company.
• Temporary employees pay goes up 3.50% in year one, 3.0% in year two, and 3.25% in year three.
• Producer fees increase to $50 in Los Angeles and New York in the second year of the contract, and to $50 by the third year at WBBM in Chicago.
• Fee for filling in for executive producer or senior producer in many but not all circumstances.
• Acting editor fee rate increases by 15%.
• Severance pay for long-term full-time temps.
• Parental leave for long-term full-time temps.
• Improved comp day calculation for a small number of temps.
• Increased severance pay for long-term staff employees; up to 48 or even 72 weeks for certain layoffs.
• Side letter on company process for requesting work from home.

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