WGAE-ABC News Employees Approve New Contract

ABC News employees, who are members of the Writers Guild of

America, East (WGAE), have ratified their new contract agreement. The vote was:

79% to 21% in favor of the contract. The contract is effective immediately and covers

approximately 250 newswriters, editors, desk assistants, production assistants,

graphic artists and researchers in New York

and Washington, D.C. The vote was conducted in New York and Washington,

D.C. at special meetings held on

December 13 and also during the morning of December 14.

Under the terms of the agreement, which were announced on

November 29, WGAE-ABC employees will receive raises of 3.5% annually plus a $3,700

contract bonus for full-time employees and a pro-rated bonus for those working

per diem schedules or for lesser periods of time. The contract also lowers night

shift differential by one hour in the second year of the contract, increases

acting editor fees and establishes a new fee for production assistants,

diminishes payment for a missed lunch period in network radio, and decreases

payment for ops room work in network radio while grandfathering current

employees. The new contract will expire February 1, 2010.

"We are pleased our members have ratified this contract, one that

allows all of them, including the writer/producers at WABC-TV, to remain in the

Guild and continue to enjoy the benefits and protections of the union," said

Mona Mangan, executive director of the Writers Guild of America, East. "Their

vote shows they are satisfied we were able to secure them this deal. Now, they

can continue their work of delivering

quality news to the public."

"As we celebrate the holiday season and

enter a crucial presidential election year, we are pleased that our members at

ABC News have ratified their new contract. Now they can continue to use their

unique knowledge and skills to provide quality journalism to the American

people," said Michael Winship, president of the Writers Guild of America, East.