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Writers Guild Members Ratify Contract With CBS News

CBS News employees, who are members of the Writers Guilds of America, have overwhelmingly ratified their new contract, officials said Thursday. The vote was 98% yes.

The contract is effective immediately and covers about 500 news writers, 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 and Los Angeles. The vote was conducted at special meetings held in those four cities Tuesday and Wednesday.

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,” WGA East executive director Mona Mangan said in a prepared statement. “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.”