WGA East and West members will get to vote on the latest contract proposal from CBS.
The union's negotiating committee has called the offer unacceptable, but is putting it to the rank and file anyway saying it wants to demonstrate that members won't accept the offer either.
The union represents news newswriters, editors, desk assistants, production assistants, graphic artists, promotion writers, and researchers in New York, Washington, Chicago and Los Angeles.
They have been in contract negotiations for 20 months with CBS, with the network's desire to merge guild and nonguild shops and the size of the proposed raise key sticking points. CBS at one time was also asking to take news producers out of the union, but dropped that in the summer. That is one of the issues that have held up similar contract negotiations with ABC.
According to the guild, the latest CBS offer is:
"A 65-month contract (4/l/05 through 8/30/10) with no retroactive wages.
"A two-tier wage package: television and network radio members in one tier and local radio members in another.
"Wage increases for the television and radio tier averaging 2.2% per year over the duration of the 65-month contract, that would total 12% over the next 45 months (no retroactive increase).
"Wage increases for the local radio members tier averaging 1.48% per year over the duration of the 65-month contract, that would total 8% over the next 45 months (no retroactive increase).
"The right to assign non-Guild KFWB-Radio employees to write and edit at KNX-Radio.
The ability to merge or combine Guild shops with non-Guild units, and in doing so potentially force the Guild out of those shops."