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ABC 2021 Master Agreement Update - Bulletin #9



New York City

November 15, 2021

The parties met for bargaining last week in New York City. The blended committees were in person at ABC’s Headquarters and on Zoom for joint sessions which ran from Monday November 8th through Friday November 12th. Attending for NABET-CWA were:

Charlie Braico - Sector President, Judiann Chartier - General Counsel, Jodi Fabrizio-Clontz -Assistant to the President, Nikisha Johnson - Technical Assistant.

Local 16 New York: Arthur Mazzacca - President, Bill Bores - Vice President, Jim Nolan - Assistant to the President, Jim Joyce - Grievance Chair, Steve Rubbinaccio - NABET ABC Remote Event Coordinator, Patty Hildebrandt - Senior Administrative Assistant.

Local 31 Washington: Alex Staherski - Executive Board Member, Bob Williams - President, Carl Mayers -Treasurer.

Local 41 Chicago: Christopher Willadsen - President, Patrick Keating - Treasurer, Michael Johnson -Newswriter/Executive Board Member, Steve Griswold - Sports Daily Hire/Executive Board Member.

Local 51 California: Carrie Biggs-Adams - President, Brad Belstock - Vice President, Mike Denton - Sports Daily Hire/Executive Board Member.

The committee spent much of the week pushing for enhanced benefits for our increasingly large daily hire membership: benefits such as expanded sick leave, child bonding leave, bereavement leave, paid jury duty leave, and extending the payments in lieu of vacation to all daily hires. Again and again, we were told by the Company “we consider those to be bought out by the $45 cash portion of the payment in lieu of benefits.” Another major topic of discussion this round was the Company’s proposal which would give them the right to offer personal services contracts to Specialty and Segment Producers at stations WLS, KABC, and KGO. These Producers would remain within NABET-CWA but would negotiate their own deals and be converted to salaried employees, no longer receiving any overtime, penalties, or premium pay.

Sports was again a focus of the bargaining, with the Union and the Company coming to a tentative agreement to add 4 new covered platforms (ESPN+, ACC Network, ACC Network Extra, and SECN+) into the Sports Event Agreement. The Company also informed us they intend to come to the next round of bargaining with concepts on how to limit the usage of packagers on sports remotes.

In a heated exchange while the Company attempted to justify their proposals to lower meal penalties and convert the lunch period to being unpaid, the Company Spokesperson told us that “all productions in Hollywood have unpaid meals.” This struck the committee as rather tone-deaf in light of the recent potential IATSE strike. We countered that our members have been out there every day through COVID and unprecedented civil unrest, putting their lives on the line for the Company, and the Spokesperson followed with “we provide good paying upper-middle class jobs to people.”

Bargaining will resume on January 10th with sessions in Los Angeles and will conclude that round of talks on January 21st. In the interim period the parties will continue to exchange proposals during the hiatus

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