2,500 broadcast employees nab contract

ABC has reached a tentative four-year deal with about 2,500 technicians repped by the Natl. Assn. of Broadcast Employees and Technicians-Communications Workers of America.

If ratified by the members, deal would replace the one that expired March 31. Details of the agreement were not released.

NABET-CWA president John S. Clark, sector veep James C. Joyce and the members of the five-city bargaining committee are unanimously recommending ratification.

ABC senior veep of labor relations Jeffrey Ruthizer said in a statement, “We are very pleased we were able finally to reach agreement with NABET after our months at the bargaining table.”

The union said the parties reached their agreement after ABC made several significant modifications to its Oct. 22 “last, best and final” offer during off-the-record meetings that began Nov. 28 in New York City.

“These were extremely difficult negotiations,” Clark said. “However, our bargaining committee was able to win significant improvements to ABC’s Oct. 22 package. The committee is convinced that the dozens of improvements that we made to ABC’s package this week constitute the best deal we are able to make. We believe our members should have the opportunity to vote on this offer and to ratify it.”

The agreement covers employees working as engineers, traffic coordinators, newswriters, desk assistants, publicists and plant maintenance workers in network and station facilities in New York City, Washington, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Ballots will be mailed to NABET-CWA members covered by contract on Dec. 17, and the secret ballot ratification process will be completed by close of business on Jan. 11.

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