SAFETY ALERT - Be Safe out there
In Washington, DC a freelance cameraman was held up at gun point and after a scuffle in which a round went off, he was hit in the head with the gun and robbed of his vehicle and gear. This happened outside of Al Jazeera DC office on New Hampshire Avenue in Foggy Bottom over this past weekend. We ask you to maintain situational awareness. Many of you are working as one man band, I would suggest that you check your surroundings and maybe have someone on the cell phone when you are working late night events.
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.
October 6, 2020
Dear Sisters and Brothers of NABET-CWA Local 31,
This year, 2020, has been very unique and stressful due to the unprecedented nature of the Covid-19 Pandemic and subsequent shutdown of much of the economy. Our industry, along with many others, faced huge challenges to our operating models. Our members, particularly in news, have done an outstanding job of keeping the American public informed in the midst of this trying situation.
Because of the Pandemic NABET-CWA Local 31 has also had to change the manner in which we work. Most of our work is now being done remotely, utilizing Zoom and other teleconference platforms to meet with our members, Labor Relations and Human Resource departments of our various units. It was in this manner that we were able to negotiate several agreements with ABC/ESPN to bring our members back to cover the NBA, MLS, and other sports leagues.
NABET-CWA Local 31 is always available by phone (301-459-4999) or you may contact us via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Voice messages are forwarded to us in real time so we will address your concerns and try to get back to you with answers in a timely fashion. We have revamped our website to reflect what is taking place within our various units and what is happening on a national level. The website (NABET31.org) also has important information on safety and government programs that affect members. Any suggestions to improve the website are encouraged.
Although the news side of NABET-CWA Local 31 has been working at their regular rate, sports and entertainment saw huge drop offs in their work and this impacted our daily hire members particularly. Sports coverage is ramping up this fall with most of the major sports leagues resuming their schedules, bringing back work to our members at ABC & NBC who cover these events.
At the Sector (National) level we are working to get daily hire members who were considered permalance some of the fringe benefits (vacation, sick days) they would normally have accrued, had it not been for the Pandemic and shutdowns.
As for the units themselves here are some updates:
1. ABC- The Master Agreement will be extended by six months until September 30, 2021 and bargaining will commence in April of 2021. Most of the ESPN studio shows have returned to Washington D.C. with the addition of a new show, Scott Van Pelt, being done in the D.C. studios.
2. NBC/WRC - NBC’s sports coverage is returning with both NFL & NCAA, football, NHL, NASCAR and Triple Crown horse racing. The NBC Network News Bureau has moved from Nebraska Ave. to 400 N. Capitol St. directly across from the US Capital. WRC remains in the Nebraska Ave. facility. They have continued to provide high quality news coverage throughout this pandemic.
3. NPR- We have signed an MOA that will run through the fiscal year 2021. Their Master Agreement has been extended to March 31, 2022.
4. PBS- Changes are being made to upgrade their payroll system.
5. WJLA - A contract has been signed for three years that gives members pay increases in each of those years along with a signing bonus. It also allows senior members to retain some of their previously earned benefits. This contract took over five years to be ratified and a special thanks must be given to the bargaining committee consisting of Alton Morris, Rich Guastadisegni, Rich McDermott (former NABET-CWA Local 31 President) and Keith Bolek (attorney).
6. MCM/MCT - The bargaining on this contract is ongoing but the Union has filed an Unfair Labor Practice Charge with the NLRB regarding these negotiations. Iwould like to thank Barbara Krieger for her outstanding and diligent work during these talks.
7. HCS- This contract has been extended to March 31, 2021 due to the Pandemic and shutdowns.
8. HRS- This contract expires in March of 2021 and a re-opener will go out on February 1, 2021.
9. SRS- The negotiated contract will remain in effect until January 27, 2024.
10. WHUT- The contract has been extended to June 30, 2021.
11.WSVN – We have named Don Hansen as our Assistant to the President. Their contract expires June 30, 2022.
12.WITF- This contract runs through June 2023.
13. Maslow- We are in the process of working toward getting pay parity for these members with other broadcast workers on Capitol Hill. We are doing this with assistance from the CWA and the House Committee on Administration.
This is an overview of where the various units stand, that make up NABET-CWA Local 31. As you can see this Local has many different units that represent the broad spectrum of Broadcast and Cable workers in this region. Each unit has specific needs and concerns that the officers and staff of NABET-CWA Local 31 are here to represent.
Finally, I want to give special recognition to our Vice President Bantu Opiotennione, Treasurer/Regional Vice President Carl Mayers, Secretary Judy Washington, and our great staff of Karen Ruiz, Marilyn Wistort and Nicole Ruiz for keeping NABET-CWA Local 31 active and moving forward during this pandemic year of 2020.
I also want to thank you, our members, for your loyalty and patience during these stressful times.
President NABET-CWA Local 31