WGA says net rejected its proposal
Long-stalled negotiations between CBS and the Writers Guild of America stayed at an impasse Monday with no new talks scheduled.The talks, held in Gotham, were the first in more than two months. CBS employees repped by the WGA spurned a contract proposal in a near-unanimous vote in late November after guild negotiators recommended against it. The Guild, which has been unable to reach a deal with CBS for nearly two years, said the net rejected its proposal — a package offer revising CBS’s rejected proposal with an extension of the WGA’s proposal contract term by an additional six months to October 2009. CBS had no comment Monday about the talks, which were held with federal mediator Timothy Germany present. “Both sides also met with Mr. Germany in sidebar to try to move the process forward, but CBS remained unwilling to make any movement from the contract offer which was rejected by the membership,” the Guild said. The rejected CBS proposal called for a 65-month contract through August 2010 with wages retroactive to September 2006; a 12% wage increase over the next 45 months for TV and network radio; 8% wage increases for local radio members over 45 months; the right to assign non-Guild KFWB-Radio employees to write and edit at KNX-Radio; and the ability to merge or combine Guild shops with non-Guild units. The two sides have also been at odds over the net seeking the right to combine the newsrooms and consolidate the staffs at CBS radio stations. About 500 employees have been working for nearly two years under terms of an expired contract at WCBS-TV, WBBM-AM, KNX-AM, KFWB-AM, KCAL-TV and KCBS-TV.