New deal, new media: IBEW, CBS in 3-year pact


The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers has announced a new three-year agreement with CBS Broadcasting that makes special provisions for work on new-media projects.

The CBS-IBEW contract covers camerapersons, soundpersons, editors and maintenance technicians in several CBS divisions, including news, sports, entertainment, TV stations, radio and operations.

The IBEW's current pact with the network was scheduled to expire July 31. The new agreement, which was ratified Friday, is through July 31, 2010.

The deal includes "a unique cooperative pledge under which CBS has given IBEW its commitment to actively look for opportunities to assign IBEW technicians to perform work for the Internet and emerging media," officials said.

The provisions will cover an initial project involving IBEW employees at an eye facility in Los Angeles, where CBS will distribute programming via the MediaFlo mobile-entertainment service.

"This is a forward-thinking agreement with one of the key unions in our industry," CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves said. "We applaud the IBEW leadership for their ongoing dialogue and for helping us to chart a course for the future that benefits everyone."

IBEW international president Edwin Hill lauded a "solid working relationship with CBS management."

The new agreement provides for salary increases of 3% in each of the first two years and 3.5% in the final year. The agreement also includes increases in contributions to benefits funds for freelance and per-diem employees as well as for certain travel and per-diem allowances for both staff and freelancers.