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CBS Newsers OK WGA Deal

CBS News employees represented by the Writers Guild of America ratified their new contract agreement with the network.

The WGA and CBS reached a tentative agreement Jan. 9, pending approval by the members.

Approximately 500 members in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C., voted in meetings held Jan. 22 and 23, with 98% of members voting yes. CBS News employees had been working without a contract since April 2005. In November, they voted to authorize a strike.

"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," said Michael Winship, president of the WGA East, in a statement. "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."

The new agreement will give WGA-repped employees an immediate 3.5% raise and another one year from now. The contract expires in April 2010.

"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 news writers," said Patric M. Verrone, president of the WGA West, in a statement.