CBS News Digital Unionizes with WGA East, Demands Voluntary Recognition
NEW YORK (February 8, 2024) – Writers and editors at CBS News Digital unionized with the Writers Guild of America East (WGAE) for the purpose of collective bargaining.
CBS News Digital’s 46-member bargaining unit has called on CBS News management to voluntarily recognize their union, without delay or division. An overwhelming majority of the unit signed union cards and asked management to recognize the union on Monday, February 5.
The union covers workers at CBS News digital platforms including CBSNews.com, its mobile website, social media channels and the CBS News app.
The Guild’s Broadcast/Cable/Streaming News sector recently won a first collective bargaining agreement at MSNBC and a second contract at CBS News Streaming.
Kathy McGee, WGAE Vice President of Broadcast/Cable/Streaming News and a writer/producer at CBS News New York, said, “The WGAE already represents workers at CBS News and CBS News Streaming, and it is incumbent on CBS’s management to recognize CBS News Digital’s demand for voluntary recognition of their union. We are seeing unprecedented mergers, consolidation and layoffs in the news industry. Journalists are telling stories and lifting voices in communities that are often ignored. The most responsible thing media workers can do is to form a union to win critical workplace protection.”
The CBS News Digital Union explained their reasons for unionizing in a “Why We’re Organizing” letter that was delivered to management. The letter reads:
We are reporters, writers, editors, digital and social media producers, push and platform editors and more. We are writers and thinkers and above all, journalists. We are dedicated and passionate people with a commitment to the truth. We are CBS News Digital and we have formed a union. Here’s why we’re organizing with the Writers Guild of America East:
We have the support of an overwhelming majority of our colleagues at CBS News Digital, and we are asking for voluntary recognition by the company.
The dedicated cohort at CBS News Digital thrives on bringing timely news and information to the public. We work 24/7/365 to keep Americans informed about the changes that could impact their daily lives, but perhaps most importantly, we truly care about the work that we do, and want to have long, fruitful and fulfilling careers here.
We love what we do and we are committed to working at CBS News. We want to continue working and making a living in a tumultuous business, and we want the same commitment from CBS News. When we work together to address these issues, we are stronger as employees and it will make for a better product and workplace.
As a union, we hope to address these issues:
Transparency: Open and honest communication is essential in our industry, and we want to ensure that management is consulting with employees on major decisions that affect CBS News Digital.
Equitable and Fair Compensation and Benefits: We want to ensure that we are being paid fair, respectable and liveable salaries. We need clear and comprehensive job descriptions, competitive compensation, fair benefits and financial recognition for taking on extra projects and working holidays, weekends and nights. We want a standard for raises and a streamlined pathway to grow within CBS News.
Diversity: To create content that is truly reflective of America, we need to have a diverse and inclusive team. It is vital to our mission as journalists to show all viewpoints and have employees from all backgrounds. We want a workplace where every employee is treated equally and will receive the respect they deserve.
Editorial standards: As employees of one of the most prestigious and well-respected news organizations in the world, excellence is demanded of us every day. We want standard guidelines around what will be produced editorially and be allowed to produce outstanding quality journalism.
By joining together as a union and collectively creating a contract, we want to make sure our voices are heard as we navigate through this exciting but constantly changing industry.
As a union, we want to ensure that all of CBS News Digital’s staff are protected and treated fairly as we continue on this journey together. We look forward to meeting you at the bargaining table!
In its Broadcast/Cable/Streaming News sector, the WGAE represents workers at 1010 WINS, ABC News, Audacy (WCBS-AM, WBBM-AM, and KNX-AM), CBS News, CBS News Streaming (formerly CBSN), Fox 5 WNYW-TV, MSNBC, NBC Promo Writers, Thirteen Productions (Thirteen/WNET), and WBBM / CBS 2 News.
ABOUT THE WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA EAST
The Writers Guild of America East, AFL-CIO (WGAE) is a labor union representing more than 7,500 members working in film, television, news, podcasts, and online media. The Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members; conducts programs, seminars and events on issues of interest to writers; and presents writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America East, visit wgaeast.org.