Broadcast Recording Technician (Audio Engineer)
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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 come to the end of the first quarter of 2022 once again, we in the Broadcast and Cable industries are faced with a myriad of historic changes that our members are presenting to the American public daily. During this two plus year of the Covid 19 pandemic the landscape of daily life has changed for everyone and has presented our members with a unique set of challenges. Many of those who are considered essential had to continue working on or at sites that put them and their families at a significant risk, while others, who covered sports were furloughed due to scaled back events. Much of this work has come back this year but there are many different Covid 19 protocols that the Leagues and Networks require as a condition of employment. Local 31 has sought to keep our members apprised of job opportunities as they arise and the protocols (vaccine status, masks, etc.) required for these jobs. As the Covid 19 pandemic starts to recede there will be facilities reopening and more sport venues becoming active. And although there will be more work for our members the virus remains active, and the various venues will continue with some type of Covid 19 protocols. The situation in Ukraine is presenting one of the largest and most important events of the 21st century thus far. As with any story of this magnitude our members are in the thick of the coverage that is seen and heard worldwide. At this time several broadcasters have been killed or wounded while doing their jobs. This illustrates how vital a free press is to a democracy and as a union we will strive to make sure our members are properly outfitted, paid and insured. Local 31 has conducted shop steward elections and the results will be posted in April. The participation was relatively low, so we are planning to send out another mailing for nominations. There are several units in active CBA talks:
1. ABC has been in negotiations for a successor contract to its current Master Agreement. This agreement is due to expire at the end of March. Although the union and ABC have made some headway toward a fair and equitable contract the two sides are far apart on daily hire issues and economics. Our lead negotiator and voting member, Alex Staherski, has represented Local 31 and our many daily hire employees in an eloquent and forceful manner. Sector President Charlie Braico clearly and concisely presented all of our proposals. I feel however, that fear of another Covid 19 outbreak makes ABC management tight fisted with regards to our contract proposals. In negotiations Bill Boros of Local 16 made an impassioned statement reminding management that it was their unionized work force that kept ABC on air, at great personal risk to themselves and their families. ABC needs to take that into account as negotiations move forward. I think this contract may get an extension of several months to let the sides reach a mutually acceptable agreement.
2. We have two contracts being negotiated at NPR. One is a newly recognized group of high-tech digital workers who were granted voluntary recognition last April and are in the process of building a first CBA. These programmers, web designers, code writers and other high-tech professionals have rarely been organized at any media company and we, at Local 31, are proud to have been chosen to represent these NPR professionals. This is an area of potential growth for both NABET and workers. We also are negotiating a successor contract with the Broadcast Engineers at NPR.
3. The House Recording Studio is going to interest arbitration regarding how overtime is calculated.
4. At MCM/MCT we have a tentative agreement with their management to give our three laid off workers an enhanced severance payout and avert arbitration. We will enter contract talks with them in May and are hoping this spirit of cooperation will continue in negotiations.
5. At WRC we are trying to get the NBC Sports Washington workers accreted into Local 31. WRC is not fully back to its pre pandemic staffing level in their Nebraska Avenue facility and are operating under some Covid 19 protocols. There is also major renovation being done at the facility.
6. NBC has completed its move into the new 400 North Capitol site. Many of their crews have been in Europe covering the situation in Ukraine and traveling with POTUS and cabinet officers. There are at least two new studio productions scheduled to go online at the North Capitol location. The hiring of daily hire workers is picking up.
7. PBS will open contract negotiations in May 2022.
8. WSVN Miami will open their contract in May 2022.
9. At WJLA, WHUT, House Creative Services, WITF and the Senate Recording Studio the situation is status quo all are operating under active contracts.
One of Local 31’s long time members and an iconic ABC Washington D.C. camera person, Melissa A. Young, was recognized by the Radio and Television Correspondents Galleries at the U.S. Capitol with the Jerry Thompson Memorial Award for her outstanding forty plus year career covering news in Washington D.C.
And Lastly, NABET-CWA Local 31 was recognized with the Joe Beirne award for our organizing efforts with the NPR Digital Professionals.
I wish everyone a happy spring break and Easter/Passover/Ramadan.
President NABET-/CWA Local 31