The Writers Guild of America (WGA) said Wednesday its members who are CBS employees "overwhelmingly" rejected the latest contract offer from CBS. The WGA says 99% of its voting membership rejected the offer in voting that took place Monday and Tuesday.
"With their vote, our members have rejected CBS's call for wage increases far below the cost of living and industry standard, a two-tier workforce that is particularly punitive to local radio employees, and reduced job security, all of which were cornerstones of this rejected CBS proposal," said Mona Mangan, executive director of the Writers Guild of America, East, in a statement.
"It is unfortunate that the WGA decided to campaign so strongly against this deal which both sides spent 19 months to bargain and work toward. We regret that they have rejected what we believe is a fair and reasonable offer that served the interests of both sides," said Harry Isaacs, senior vice president of industry relations for the CBS Corporation.
According to a WGA press release, the organization rejected a CBS proposal that included a 65-month contract from April 2005-August 2010 with wages retroactive to September 2006 and a 12% bump in pay over the next 45 months for television and network radio.
The WGA says the offer did not include its proposals including increased benefits for temporary employees, increasing the number of employees eligible for retirement health benefits and additional severance for employees who lose their jobs through merger or consolidation.
The WGA has more than 500 employees at CBS covered under the potential deal currently being negotiated. The last deal expired in April of 2005.