Dear Brothers and Sisters of IBEW Local 69,
On Thursday, October 18, members of Fox 4 negotiating committee and Local 69 met with local Management and the Company’s standard lawyer, Kevin Casey. This was the first time the
Company was available after our September 20 meeting.
The Company lawyer opened with his usual boilerplate speech about how the Company’s 2%, 2%, 2% wage offer (which he insists on calling 6%) was very fair and generous in this market. That these are good jobs with great benefits and we haven’t seen masses of employees leaving the station for greener pastures. He pointed out that Channel 33 had recently had a huge layoff and sang his same sad song about how unstable the industry is right now.
We countered that Channel 33 has been cutting staff for 30 years because they were not “in it to win it.” We corrected him that in fact people are leaving the station, especially to go to NBC 5 where the pay is better. We expressed our desire to continue to be the #1 station in ratings and profitability. Because we are part of that success we should share in the rewards. We also pointed out that a 2% raise does not keep pace with cost of living. The committee pointed out that in September we could have had a contract but for the Company’s refusal to budge on pay, or if not pay then vacation accrual for newer employees (like they gave everyone else). I’m not sure which of our rebuttals triggered him to get angry and stomp towards the door (this also has become part of the Company’s theatrics each time we meet). But ultimately we requested an accurate and complete printout of the Company’s proposals instead of the incomplete document we rejected on Sept. 20.
When they presented us with the Company’s “Last, Best, and Final Package Proposal” with the necessary corrections we responded with counter-proposals: 2%, 4%, 4% raises and 3 weeks of vacation for employees with 0-14 years of service. They immediately rejected our counter-offer. We then asked for some more meeting dates to which the Company said November is sweeps and December is the holidays. We replied that we are available anytime they want to negotiate.
It appears the Company is dug in and is in no hurry to get a deal. Make no mistake; these decisions are not coming from New York. Kathy Saunders makes all the decisions for these negotiations and anything else at Fox4. From her point of view, she is saving money the longer we don’t capitulate.
The Company’s current stated position is “you can keep your jurisdictions and we will keep our money.” Working together we should be able to get a decent deal but it will certainly take time, pressure, and most importantly, unity. If you have ideas for work place actions contact a member of the Negotiation Committee.
Our brothers and sisters at Oncor recently ratified a one year contract extension with a three percent (3%) wage increase. The Union will have contract books for the Oncor agreement printed for distribution in the near future.
The Dallas Union meetings for November and December occur on the second Tuesdays of those months due to the holidays. The meetings are at 1408 N. Washington and begin at 5:00 p.m. I look forward to seeing everyone that can attend a meeting.
Until next time may God bless you, your family, and our local union.