IATSE members working at four Fox TV stations in New York, New Jersey and Washington, DC, have ratified a new three-year contract, completing one of the longest-running contract negotiations of all time.
Union officials say the preliminary agreement, reached in April, followed 11 years of on-again negotiation and 15 years without their members receiving a cost of living increase.
The new contract, which covers behind-the-scenes news crews and television technicians, includes 12% pay increases in the first year, 2% increases in the second and third years, matching 401(k) contributions and maintained premium payment for per-diem workers.
The union said the new agreement will “bring much-needed relief to workers struggling with rising inflation while putting themselves at risk of breaking breaking news on the New York and Washington DC subways.”
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The lengthy negotiations involved two IATSE locals—Local 794 in New York and Local 819 in DC—and four Fox TV stations: WNYW in New York; WTTG and WDCA in DC and WWOR in New Jersey.
“This has been a very difficult period for our members,” said Al Richardson, business agent for IATSE Local 819. “We have endured through weather-related challenges, social and political unrest and a pandemic. Eleven years of negotiations. Fifteen years with no increase in the cost of livelihood. Our commitment cannot be questioned at this point. It was very important for our members to get some financial help. This contract, while by no means perfect, at least provides that.”
IATSE Local 794 business agent Nick Kroudis said: “Clearing a deal now was extremely important to our members and their families. It’s what they deserve for years of dedication and hard work.”
A Fox Television Stations spokesperson told Deadline: “Fox Television Stations is pleased with the newly ratified IATSE contract. This deal could not have been successfully negotiated without the deep dedication and long hours of everyone involved.”