Contact: Gregg Mitchell (323) 782-4574
Sherry Goldman (718) 224-4133
News Release: January 24, 2008
Writers Guilds of America  - CBS News Employees Overwhelmingly Ratify New Contract Agreement

NEW YORK -- CBS News employees, who are members of the Writers Guilds of America, East and West (WGAE and WGAW), have overwhelmingly ratified their new contract agreement. The vote was 98% yes. The contract is effective immediately and covers approximately 500 newswriters, editors, news desk associates, production assistants, graphic artists, promotion writers, and researchers working in television and radio on the national and local levels in New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. The vote was conducted at special meetings held in New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles on January 22 and 23.

Under the terms of the new contract, WGA-CBS employees will receive a 3.5% raise immediately and again one year from now. In addition, most regularly scheduled employees who worked 200 days or more in 2007 and did not receive wage increases during the negotiations time frame will receive an additional $3,700 payment. Employees who worked shorter schedules will receive pro-rated payments. The contract runs through April 1, 2010.

“This very difficult to achieve contract is the product of a long mobilization effort by the Guilds' members working at CBS,” says Mona Mangan, executive director of the Writers Guild of America, East. “This strong vote of approval signals their commitment to a contract that is free of the rollbacks that members so strongly opposed. Our members look forward to a renewed commitment to quality news during an exciting presidential election year.”

“The resounding vote for this contract assures that our members at CBS News will continue to provide the quality journalism for which the network has been known," says Michael Winship, president of the Writers Guild of America, East. “It's a tribute to all of our CBS members who worked so hard together to achieve this deal, as well as their negotiating committee and staff at the Guilds East and West.” 

“After such a long and difficult period, we're pleased that CBS came back to the table with the will to make a deal that was acceptable to newswriters,” said Patric M. Verrone, president of the Writers Guild of America, West. “We're proud of our members resolve to reach a fair contract and inspired by the solidarity of  Guild newswriters in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.”

The Writers Guild of America, East and the Writers Guild of America, West are labor unions representing writers in motion pictures, broadcast, cable, news and new media. The WGAE and WGAW are active in legislative activities on the state, federal, and international levels with a special focus on globalization, labor, communications, and copyrights. They also conduct a number of programs, seminars, and events on issues of interest to, and on behalf of writers.