The union has taken their contract negotiations public by issuing a press release highlighting their “disappointment” with how talks are going between Entercom and union workers in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and San Francisco. Here’s why the union says Entercom is being unfair.
SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris says, “The company’s suggested proposals would erode significant benefits in our members’ contracts and lack recognition of the major contributions our members make to Entercom stations across the country. We encourage a real partnership with Entercom as we look to achieve a meaningful and fair resolution of these negotiations.”
The union says members working at Entercom news and music stations in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco have been in active negotiations for new union contracts since late last year.
The union also says members are seeking fair increases to compensation, benefits, and limited benefits for part-time employees, as well as a willingness to participate in the shift to the digitally focused radio business. And the union claims Entercom “is seeking to dramatically slash severance benefits and eliminate jobs with the expanded use of pre-recorded and non-local shows.”
After sharing the SAG-AFTRA e-mail with Entercom we received the following statement: “We are incredibly proud of the award-winning work of our on-air teams and value their contributions to the company and the communities we serve. We have been negotiating with SAG-AFTRA in good faith to reach fair agreements. These discussions include contracts that had been open for years prior to our merger with CBS Radio, as well as more recently expired agreements. We prefer to negotiate directly with SAG-AFTRA and our employees, not publicly, and do not intend to comment further.”
This is a statement SAG-AFTRA says comes from Entercom employees in the union: “We are members of the SAG-AFTRA Entercom family. Broadcasting is an industry of continual change and evolution, yet we have been the constant. We are devoted to our craft and embrace the opportunity to deliver the highest quality and most highly trusted content for our radio audiences. We have taken our listeners through historic milestones in both news and music: the Sept. 11 attacks on the nation, the killing of John Lennon, Hurricane Sandy, the Live Aid concert, the Las Vegas concert shooting, the California wildfires, and over the decades, innumerable earthquakes, floods, heatwaves, elections, and snowstorms. Through them all, we have been a distinct and identifiable continuum of well-known voices and personalities on which our families of listeners have come to depend.
“As SAG-AFTRA union members, we have advocated for our contracts to grow and evolve with our changing landscape to meet the needs of our work. We want our stations to grow and expand with new technologies and formats, and grow with them. Whether working in news or music, each of us and all of us are proud and strongly motivated to maintain and build upon the four pillars of our SAG-AFTRA agreements that:
- Establish and maintain industry standards for compensation, health and retirement, and severance benefits.
- Keep on-air voices live and local, and not voice-tracked and pre-recorded.
- Recognize the contribution of our part-timers as core members of our teams, through benefits and fair compensation.
- Keep and attract the best talent at our stations.
“Many of us have been working in broadcasting for decades, through infinite changes in technology and formats. We are committed to contracts that protect our rights and safeguard the future of our stations.”