As of Feb. 14, it’s news business as usual for WKBN-TV Youngstown, Ohio. The station and its news employees covered by NABET-CWA have come to terms on a new three-year contract.
The deal gives the employees a 6% raise over three years–2% the first year, 1% the second and 3% the third. Employees will also have a 20% health care co-pay.
The union had rejected a station offer of a 4% raise over three years and what it considered too large a chunk of healthcare costs. The workers had been locked out since just before the expiration of the contract Feb. 1, but were scheduled to return Saturday.
WKBN-TV general manager David Coy described the negotiations as "civil and professional."
The station news department’s skeleton crew, including managers, producers under a separate contract, and engineers, had still managed to put out newscasts at noon, 5, 6 and 11 p.m., as well as a 10 p.m. news for a pair of low powers operating as Fox affiliates. The only casualty was a morning newscast, scheduled to resume Monday.
Coy released a statement saying: "We look forward to the return of the employees impacted by the labor dispute and concentrating on running the business." Translation: "Whew."