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New York City

October 7, 2021

ABC 2021 Master Agreement Update - Bulletin #8

 After meeting for eight days since September 27, 2021, the first round of negotiations for a successor Master Agreement with ABC concluded yesterday.

Talks this past Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were exclusively devoted to discussing working conditions, compensation, benefits, expanding the quantity of assignments, and other topics of high priority to Daily Hire members working under the Sports Event Agreement. In order to prompt the most accurate and in-depth discussion of these matters, the Network Negotiating Committee (NNC) was joined at the table by Sports Daily Hire advisors Derek Armstrong (Local 31), Mike Denton (Local 51), and Steve Griswold (Local 41) for all three days of meetings with ABC Sports management.

NABET-CWA Sector President and Chief Spokesperson Charlie Braico guided these discussions with a comprehensive agenda which included exchanges on:

  • Improving compensation for travel-only days.
  • Increasing the amount of the per diem to be in line with other sports broadcasters.
  • Increasing the Payment In Lieu of Benefits (PILOB).
  • Expanding NABET-CWA covered assignments to additional ESPN-owned outlets such as ESPN+ and the ACC Network.
  • Increasing the number of guaranteed workdays per year.
  • Providing for a minimum percentage of NABET-CWA members included in mixed crew productions.
  • Creating an advance payment system for per diem allowances to eliminate out-of-pocket costs for workers on extended assignments.
  • Reclassifying certain job titles to higher-paying wage scale groups.
  • Addressing scheduling issues, including late cancellations of bookings.

 As stated by Steve Griswold on the first day of Sports Event Agreement talks, “We’re here to let you know first-hand that we are concerned that our work is going away, and that our rates are being undercut. We’ve worked these events for many years, and what we are seeking with these proposals is fair.”

 The talks over the past eight days have painted a clear picture that the Company relishes having a workforce primarily made up of Daily Hires. Their primary stated concern is “flexibility” and that is much easier to achieve with a disposable workforce. ABC’s unscrupulous list of desires is laid out in the initial set of proposals presented to the Union.

 The NNC will post copies of the proposals and their potential impacts on wages, hours and working conditions on Sector and Local websites. Negotiations will resume on Monday, November 8, 2021, in New York City with further discussions of the Sports Event Agreement, Newswriters, Daily Hires, A Unit, and General Articles. 

 As a reminder, all base wages in the ABC Master Agreement will be increased by two percent (2%) effective Saturday, October 9th, and will start appearing on paychecks later this month.  Additionally, the current Master Agreement, which was originally slated to expire on March 31, 2021, was extended by mutual agreement of the parties to March 31, 2022.

 Please contact your Local if you have any questions.


In Solidarity,

The ABC NABET-CWA Network Negotiating Committee