IATSE members employed at four Fox TV stations in New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C., have ratified a new three-year contract, bringing to a close one of the longest-running contract negotiations of all time.
Union officials say that the tentative agreement, which was reached in April, followed 11 years of on-again off-again bargaining and 15 years without their members receiving a cost-of-living increase.
The new contract, which covers behind-the-scenes news crews and broadcast television technicians, includes 12% wage increases in the first year, 2% increases in the second and third years, matching 401(k) contributions and maintained premium pay for per-diem workers.
The union said the new agreement will “bring much-needed relief to workers who have been grappling with rising inflation while putting themselves in harm’s way to deliver breaking news to the New York and Washington D.C. metros.”
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The protracted negotiations involved two IATSE locals – Local 794 in New York and Local 819 in D.C. – and four Fox TV stations: WNYW in New York; WTTG and WDCA in D.C., and WWOR in New Jersey.
“This has been a very difficult stretch for our members,” said Al Richardson, business agent for IATSE Local 819. “We have persevered through weather related challenges, social and political unrest, and a pandemic. Eleven years of negotiations. Fifteen years without a cost-of-living raise. Our dedication cannot be questioned at this point. It was very important for our members to receive some financial relief. This contract, while by no means perfect does at least provide that.”
Said IATSE Local 794 business agent Nick Kroudis: “Getting a deal done now was extremely important for our members and their families. It’s what they deserve for years of dedication and hard work.”
A Fox Television Stations spokesperson told Deadline: “Fox Television Stations is pleased with the newly ratified IATSE contract. This deal could not have been successfully negotiated without the deep commitment and the long hours of everyone involved.”
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