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NABET-CWA/NBC NASCAR NEGOTIATIONS BULLETIN #16
Dear NBCSN/NASCAR Member of NABET-CWA:
Your NABET-CWA NASCAR/NBCSN Bargaining Committee has tabulated
the votes for the ratification of the tentative agreement with NBCUniversal
for cable network NASCAR productions. The membership has voted to ratify
this contract offer by an overwhelming majority. The ratified agreement will
take immediate effect.
The Committee wishes to express their gratitude to our NASCAR members
working across the country for their continued mobilization support and
perseverance during this process.
Your NABET-CWA Bargaining Committee:
Louis M. Marinaro – NABET Sector Vice President &
NABET Local 11 President
Max H. Sicherman – General Counsel &
Grievance Chairman, NABET-CWA Local 11
Bantu Opiotennione – Vice President, NABET-CWA Local 31
John Duffy – Shop Steward
Dean Kamienski – Shop Steward
We are the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians, a sector of the Communications Workers of America.
Our Union strives to provide its members with a sense of pride and dignity in the workplace, while maintaining quality work conditions and fair wages. Over the years, NABET-CWA has fought for and won benefits and wages for its represented members which include a union shop, 8-hour work days, vacations, holidays, sick leave, insurance, overtime pay, pension plans, seniority, grievance and arbitration, safety, and health. NABET-CWA is proud of its fine tradition of democracy. Our members are well served by officers and staff whose roots are in the broadcast industry.
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
As we start the first quarter of fiscal year 2022 there are several familiar faces returning as NABET-CWA Local 31 Officers. I will remain President for one more term, Bantu Opiotennione as Vice President, Carl Mayers as Treasurer (and Region 3 Vice President) and former NABET-CWA Local 31 President Rich McDermott, as our new Secretary.
I am honored to serve another term with these great union officers. I thank you for your continued trust in the NABET-CWA Local 31 team to work to secure good contracts and provide you with professional representation. I want to acknowledge former secretary Judy Washington for her many years of dedicated and distinguished service to our Local. Also, I want to give thanks to Bantu, Carl and Rich for their many years of service and for once again stepping up for NABET-CWA Local 31 and our members.
The past eighteen months have been demanding on everyone but we in broadcast and cable had the essential job of keeping the American people informed in the midst of a pandemic and great social unrest. Our members at the networks and stations that we represent did an outstanding job of providing the American public with news in a timely fashion. We faced a lot of adversity with many sports leagues shutting down for months and our members being in effect furloughed. NABET-CWA Local 31 and the CWA sought to provide information on programs run by federal, state, and local governments that could offer aid to members who were temporarily not working. As the nation moves back to a more normal footing NABET-CWA Local 31 has been involved in agreements with our units regarding covid/vaccine policies. Although these policies have been somewhat controversial a large majority of our members have been vaccinated. Those that have not, are seeking reasonable accommodation for religious or medical reasons.
The CWA held its 78th convention, virtually, on October 18-20, 2021. Speakers included Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, CWA President Chris Shelton, and CWA Secretary/Treasurer Sara Steffens. They all emphasized that in this environment of political unrest and a global pandemic, unions are needed now more than ever to be the voice of working people. As you can imagine with almost a thousand delegates there were a few glitches, but the overall convention was a success. Two major resolutions were approved at this convention. They were the adoption of the SMART Resolution (Support Members and Rebuild Together), which will allocate funds from the Strategic Industry Fund (SIF) to allow the hiring of more full-time staff representatives and organizing coordinators. These representatives and coordinators will help us organize new units among high tech workers in particular. The other major resolution to be adopted was the Safe Secure and Private Elections for national officers. This resolution will allow for electronic elections.
On NABET-CWA Local 31’s front we have many things happening simultaneously.
1. ABC is in active negotiations and have met across the table from ABC/Disney management for a two-week period in October 2021. The Union presented a comprehensive package of proposals and the company put forth a more limited set of proposals. The two groups plan to meet again in November to present counter proposals and continue negotiations. Our rank-and-file negotiator is Alex Staherski, a daily hire from ABC Washington. He has represented both Washington and daily hires in superb fashion. We had three Sports daily hires, Derek Armstrong-Local 31, Steve Griswold-Local 41, and Mike Denton-Local 51, attend negotiations to present the concerns of our many Sports daily hires directly to management. These talks are still in preliminary stages, and we are putting our concerns forward, looking for a favorable agreement.
2. At NBC we are discussing a one-year extension of the current contract. This would extend it until March 31, 2023. Our rank-and-file negotiator is Steve Mitnick.
3. We have welcomed a new group from NPR, Digital Media United. This unit writes, designs, and maintains software for pod and webcasts. These are exactly the type of high-tech workers that CWA is seeking to attract. They were given voluntary recognition by NPR in April 2021. We are in the process of negotiating a first contract. Bjorn Westegard is one of their primary spokespeople.
4. The House Recording Studio is in the process of going to an interest arbitration after several months of talks have not yielded a satisfactory agreement. The issue involves O.T. computation. Doug Koztoski and Todd Baham are our rank-and-file negotiators. The dates for arbitration have not been set.
5. At MCM/MCT we are going to arbitrate the layoff of three members’ last spring. We have a tentative date of March 2022 for this arbitration.
6. At NPR the existing NABET-CWA Local 31 unit of BRT’s and NOC technicians will reopen their contract in January 2022.
7. WITF is asking for a Memorandum of Understanding that encompasses several areas of their contract for several years. We have set up a Zoom unit meeting to discuss this with members.
8. NBC Network and WRC are now in separate facilities with the network in their new offices on 400 North Capitol St. and WRC remaining in their building on Nebraska Ave. In addition to WRC, Telemundo and NBC Sports Washington have moved into the Nebraska Ave. facility. Many of these workers are technicians who we feel should be accreted into NABET-CWA Local 31.
9. We are opening talks with Maslow, who supply freelance technicians to the House Recording Studio. Mike Bellis and Tyrone Riggs are our rank-and-file negotiators.
10. The House Creative Services Office (Still Photographers in the Congress) inked a new agreement which will carry them until 2025.
Our other units of WJLA, WHUT, PBS, Senate Recording Studio, and WSVN are status quo currently.
This last 18 months has been an uncertain and trying time but our television and radio professionals more than carried their weight and provided a great service to the country and its citizens.
We are in a time of increased interest in unions with the most pro union administration since the 1960’s and NABET-CWA Local 31 will be here to welcome the new union workers of the 21st Century.
President, NABET-CWA Local 31