Labor relations in New York often result in disputes in prominent industries with people who are integral to the work and function behind the scenes. Collective bargaining for these essential workers can be complicated and will often come to the forefront in the public as their plight becomes known. For these workers, having a union is crucial to maximizing their income and benefits. Union members must make certain that they have a strong legal firm to represent them and that firm is experienced in all aspects of collective bargaining and labor relations.
A dispute over pay for segment producers for the early-morning program "Good Day New York" has reached the public eye as background workers are being asked to take a significant pay cut. There is a dispute between the station, WNYW Fox 5 and the Writers Guild of America East. For some, the pay cut would be as much as $7,000. An estimated 50 employees are represented by the union. They are listed as news assistants and news writers, but they function in a multitude of other ways doing numerous jobs.
In the past, the station has paid workers who take on extra tasks on an hourly basis. The dispute over the contract has gone on for six years. They have not had a contract since 2012 and no raises have been given to senior staffers since. At their present rate, a newly hired news writer earns around $650 weekly - about $34,000 per year. After six months, that rises to $700 per week. Those who are on the job for seven years get $1,643 weekly.
In collective bargaining situations such as this, it can be difficult to navigate. Legal assistance is one of the most important factors to negotiations and receiving fair compensation and benefits. If the sides are at an impasse, it is even more crucial to have a law firm that can view the case from both sides and has experience representing not just unions but management. Legal assistance is imperative with complex and contentious negotiations and its importance should not be ignored.
Source: nydailynews.com, "'Good Day New York' segment producers fight $7,000 pay cut to settle Fox 5 contract dispute," Ginger Adams Otis, Feb. 3, 2018