WGA East members employed by ABC News have voted overwhelmingly – 96% in favor – to ratify a new thee-year contract. The 110-member bargaining unit includes news editors, news writers, continuity writers, researchers, assignment editors, desk assistants, production assistants and graphic artists based in New York and Washington, D.C who work at Good Morning America, WABC, ABC News Radio, NewsOne, and at the network desks for ABC’s national news programs.
“We are proud our members have won solid increases in pay and pension contributions, gains for full-time ‘temps,’ DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) protections, and more,” said Lowell Peterson, the guild’s executive director. “This demonstrates that, even in a mature industry, collective bargaining works.”
The new contract includes overall pay and pension packages that increase minimums by 9% over three years. According to the guild, it also includes substantial increases in the minimum rates for desk assistants in D.C. and increases in minimums for certain jobs where people work under personal service contracts, such as WABC show producers, assignment editors and continuity writers.
Other highlights of the agreement include:
• Increases in paid time off
• Staff employees will get four weeks of vacation after 10 years of service
• “Full-time” temps will get an additional comp day
• Staff employees will get an additional floating holiday
• Temps’ comp days will not count against their accrual of seven sick days a year
• Both staff and full-time temps will get recharge days
• Vacation differential for full-time temps will increase from 5% to 6%
• Labor-management work-from-home committee to review any manager’s decision denying a work-from-home request
• Temps who opted out of the pension and health plans may opt in one time during the 3-year contract period
• The company will provide Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training, including unconscious bias training to bargaining unit employees on an annual basis.