CBS, IBEW Reach Tentative Contract Agreement

CBS and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers announced that they have reached a tentative agreement on a contract covering 2,800 technicians. Once ratified by the affected workforce, the contract will be effective through January 31, 2015.

The current collective bargaining agreement was scheduled to expire on January 31, 2012. In 2010, the parties extended the current agreement and committed to reach a new, long term one by July 31, 2011.

“We are pleased to conclude this agreement ahead of schedule,” stated IBEW International President Ed Hill. “The contract lays the foundation for continued cooperation between CBS and the IBEW as we confront the constantly changing world of media and explore new opportunities together.”

Major provisions of the new long-term contract include pay increases of 2.5% that will take effect on July 31, 2011, February 3, 2013, and February 2, 2014. The parties agreed to greater flexibility in some working conditions, such as jurisdiction, and will explore labor-management partnership opportunities. Health care, usually a contentious issue in labor negotiations, was not a significant factor, as the employees will continue to be covered under the CBS Healthcare Plan or the Entertainment Industry’s’ Flex Care Plan.

The contract will be sent to IBEW members for ratification within the next few weeks. The process is expected to be completed by July 29, 2011.

“This new early agreement demonstrates the strength of the working relationship between CBS and the IBEW and reaffirms CBS’ commitment to the IBEW’s highly skilled workforce,” said Leslie Moonves, President and Chief Executive Officer, CBS Corporation.

The IBEW represents CBS workers in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., St. Louis, San Francisco, Dallas, Miami, and Atlanta, in addition to supplying a skilled workforce for all events televised on CBS Sports and CBS News.

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