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Breaking news, press releases and statements from the Writers Guild of America, East

Tuesday December 5, 2023

WGA East Members at MSNBC Ratify First Union Contract

NEW YORK (December 5, 2023) – After more than two years of negotiations, Writers Guild of America East (WGAE) members at MSNBC have overwhelmingly ratified a strong first collective bargaining agreement. 

The MSNBC Union’s hard-fought path to union protections started in August 2021, with recent actions including more than 5,000 WGAE members and union allies sending letters to management demanding a contract.

The nearly 300-member bargaining unit at MSNBC Union won a fair three-year agreement that includes a minimum 3% pay increase every year for the next three years, and vital improvements to policies regarding extra pay for overwork, overnight work, and out-of-title work.

Additional highlights from the contract include:

  • Fair minimum salaries for all titles, with significant pay increases for all PAs and most APs;
  • A guaranteed minimum 3% pay increase on March 1 of every year for the next three years;
  • All employees will receive a bonus upon ratification amounting to 2% of their current annual salaries;
  • The company’s current policy of expecting employees to work in the office three days a week has been codified.  If the company intends to change that, it must provide 75 days’ notice and bargain with the Guild.  If the Guild is not satisfied with the outcome, it has the right to strike;
  • The 6-week on-call rotation schedule has been eliminated, and employees have the right to decline on-call assignm
  • Employees who work on holidays get a comp day, which will be paid if not used in 6 months;
  • Guaranteed minimum severance for layoffs (2 weeks for every year of service with a minimum of 8 weeks); 
  • Union Security;
  • Just Cause. 

The MSNBC Union said “We are excited to say that we have ratified our first contract after 2 years of negotiations. We are proud to share that this contract addresses priority issues from our members like continued remote work flexibility, additional payment for performing extra work, night shift payment, and the right to turn down standby requests. The contract provides meaningful economic gains for our members.”

“Our unit ratified this contract with overwhelming support, which truly shows the solidarity we had as a unit in fighting for these wins,” the members added. “We are looking forward to the implementation of these contract provisions and our continued work with management through newly established committees.” 

Kathy McGee, Writers Guild of America East Vice President of Broadcast/Cable/Streaming News, said “We’re proud to see the MSNBC Union secure a first contract for writers and producers at a cable news network. This is a significant win for the new WGAE members at MSNBC and a game-changer for the labor movement. The workplace protections won by the unit ensure workers can build sustainable careers as they continue delivering viewers around-the-clock news and analysis. This victory follows the support of thousands of union members– collective action works.” 

In addition to MSNBC, the WGAE represents newsrooms at 1010 WINS, ABC News, Audacy (WCBS-AM, WBBM-AM, KNX-AM), CBS News, CBSN, Fox 5 WNYW-TV, Thirteen Productions (Thirteen/WNET), and WBBM-CBS 2 News.


The Writers Guild of America East, AFL-CIO (WGAE) is a labor union representing writers in film, television, broadcast and streaming 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 


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