MSNBC Union Ratifies First Contract After 2 Years of Negotiations

The three-year agreement includes a minimum 3% pay increase and improvements to policies regarding extra pay for overwork, overnight work and out-of-title work

Nearly 300 Writers Guild of America East members at MSNBC have overwhelmingly ratified their first collective bargaining agreement after over two years of negotiations.

The contract includes minimum salaries for all titles, with significant pay increases for all production assistants and most associate producers, a guaranteed minimum 3% pay increase on March 1 every year for the next three years, and a ratification bonus that amounts to 2% of members’ current annual salaries.

MSNBC’s policy that expects employees to work three days a week in the office has also been codified. If the company intends to change that, it must provide 75 days’ notice and bargain with the Guild, who will have the right to strike if it is not satisfied with the outcome. 

Additionally, the agreement eliminates the network’s six-week on-call rotation schedule and gives employees the right to decline on-call assignments; provides a comp day to employees who work holidays, which will be paid if not used in six months; and offers guaranteed minimum severance for layoffs consisting of 2 weeks for every year of service with a minimum of eight weeks. It also includes union security and just cause.

“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, WGAE vice president of Broadcast, Cable and Streaming News Kathy McGee said in a statement. “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.


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