What We’re Up To
CBSN ratified its first collective bargaining agreement in March 2020, and is the first anchored live-streaming news service to unionize. The new agreement was unanimously ratified by the more than 65 writers, producers, and graphic artists in the unit.
The agreement provides substantial improvements in a range of economic and non-economic areas, including night shift differential, short turn-around pay, standby pay, and extra pay for long work weeks for all employees. It provides a series of upgrade payments for employees assigned to perform work ordinarily performed by people in higher-paid titles, extra paid days off, a system for getting paid for unused comp days, holiday pay, and substantial severance pay.
It also includes a commitment to recruiting a more inclusive workforce and a diversity committee to address these issues on a regular basis, plus committees to address working conditions and workload. Employees in the lower-paid job classifications will receive time and a half overtime plus penalties for working through meal periods. The agreement streamlines current job titles and includes clear job descriptions and minimum pay rates for all titles. On top of all of this, CBSN’s unionized staff will receive across-the-board pay increases of 3% per year.
The union at CBSN was recognized by management on February 5, 2019. Read more about it here.
Why We’re Organizing
We are CBSN and we are always on.
We are the tiny but mighty group of dedicated writers, producers and graphic artists at CBS News’ 24/7 live streaming channel. We are proud to be pioneers in the digital industry and contributors to the history of journalistic excellence at CBS News. Just like our colleagues on the broadcast side of CBS News, we know that the best way to advocate for a fair and safe workplace is to ensure that all our voices are heard. That’s why we have organized to be a part of the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE).
An overwhelming majority of our coworkers at CBSN have signed union authorization cards to join the 5,000 members of the WGAE, which includes hundreds of our CBS News broadcast colleagues who already have a union contract. We are also proud to stand with the thousands of other digital media professionals who have organized in recent years. We are encouraged by CBS’ decision to voluntarily recognize our union and we are looking forward to constructive negotiations over the issues that are important to all of us.
We organized because we want to keep producing dynamic content in a fair work environment. We organized to ensure that everyone who walks into our newsroom is treated equally. We organized because we know we are stronger together. We organized because we are CBSN and we are always on.