Sunday, January 20, 2008

NABET Members speak out about new ABC contract

An open letter to NABET members, who either voted FOR this contract or did not bother to vote at all,

I have worked at ABC for 31 years to get to where I am on the Seniority List. You have just allowed the company to eliminate that Seniority List. You have just allowed the company to have my pension accrue as little as 0% for every additional year that I work here.


You have just allowed the company to eliminate my lunch hour if I work on a show that comes under the News banner. You have just allowed the company to eliminate a majority of the work rules if a show that I’m working on airs on basic cable before it airs on ABC.


How long will it be before the Soaps start airing on Soap Net before they air on ABC? You have just allowed the company to send daily hire graphics operators on the road and not have them count towards the yearly daily hire cap. You have just allowed the company to not use TDs in certain control rooms.


You have just allowed the company to extend me in 6 minute increments.


Those of you, who either voted FOR this contract or did not bother to vote at all, are usually the first ones to complain that the Union is weak. I say that you are the Union ; it is you that are weak. You never go to a Union meeting (there were 4 members at the meeting that I attended) and you never stood up for your rights.


You never wrote a letter protesting the conditions of the contract to anyone in the company or the Union . Before contract negotiations began, we all received a letter from a member in San Francisco urging us to work hard towards getting their members pay parity with the rest of the member cities.


It is disgusting if you work in San Francisco and you helped this contract pass.


To those of you, who either voted FOR this contract or did not bother to vote at all; I am ashamed that I have to work next to you.


Gary Boyarsky

Technical Director

NABET Local 16

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Here are some responses that I got to:

An open letter to NABET members, who either voted FOR this contract or did not bother to vote at all.


I removed the authors names or certain passages that might identify the author because they may have considered their note private. I expected to get a few that said that I was way off base or to shove it. I haven't gotten any so far.

Gary B.

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Well done Gary .


The problem is many of these spineless Nabes are just happy to have jobs and won't truly stand up for themselves never mind anyone else. They will complain but not do anything even for themselves. I found that to be very true during the 97 lockout.


If I was in a warm car doing a 12 hour day protesting all over the city and asked for volunteers to help, if folks were near their 3rd hour of a four hour picket duty they would not even get in a warm car if it meant staying longer.


When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.


When they came for slant track/graphics/tape/radio/post-production/studio-field/TD's/the couriers

I remained silent;

I wasn't any of them

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.


Very well put, as usual.


Now more than ever, I spit in the face of the company lawyers, particularly Ruthizer and Quinn, who make value of themselves by their arogance and contempt of all those of us who have dedicated more than half of our working lives to build a company that indeed affords them luxuries that we will never know.


These useless pieces of corporate shit perfectly represent everything the world hates in Americans, specifically American corporate lawyers.


I have already begun a new attitude about work; as a workforce, we can sit back and watch these assholes try to figure out exactly how to work under this new contract.


I'm sure that Orlando will never figure out how to get the SAP system to work in one-minute increments.


Some ESUs and camera KDs are still 15 mins. Some a half hour, jib for example.


I can leave my ID at home accidentally, or even in my locker.


Just say NO to any OT beg shorter than 18 minutes. Anyone taking a four-hour wdo gets a beating.


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Strongly worded, well said, and unfortunately likely to fall on deaf ears. Once again the company has proven its mastery at negotiating a contract it will not be able to use. They already had contract they had trouble staffing the network with. I/A has an expression: "A Dollar more...out the door"


With the exception of a few of us who are invested past the point of departure, ABC will not be able to attract new hires with these terms, and I suspect will even have trouble keeping daily hires around on a consistent basis when work on the outside gets busy.


I can't wait for the first time they try to extend me for six minutes. I think the proper approach would be to decline the overtime, at which point the tech manager would threaten to order the extention which I would claim would need to be done by a senior manager and good luck getting Giabia, or Colangelo to respond in what would most likely be 3 or 4 minutes.

People get the government they deserve, likewise the contracts. What really burns me is the I/A contract went through five months ago with no delays, little negotiations, and no substantive losses in terms of employment. NABET has clearly been in the cross hairs of company for some time. The choice is clear, stay and pick over the carcass, or go somewhere where your talents are appreciated, because they aren't appreciated here........ "You going to eat that liver?"

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Amen!

And let's not forget to thank our wonderful negotiating committee for their hard work to have the company at least allow us to come to work, until they decide we are not needed. Thank goodness we affiliated with CWA. Their expertise in these matters saved us from, ah, I don't know? I cannot find a single improvement in this contract for anyone covered by it unless you consider the insignificant wage increases that assure us we will continue to be well below and at the bottom of the industry and in the city. This contract offers either status quo or a step back of varying dimensions to each and every member. I am so proud to work for a company that has worked hard with the union to achieve such excellence in the race for the bottom.

Congratulations! At least we should be able to save some money on dues since there seems to be absolutely no need for a union anymore. Thank goodness we are near the end of our careers and frankly I don't care anymore about those that have years ahead of them and sold out. Best of luck.

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As one who voted NO on this contract, I want to say thank you. Your letters to our union officials and to Sean Quinn clarified issues that our leadership, certain e-board members, and shop stewards could not. I am not looking forward to now fighting to maintain what I've worked hard to earn, particularly during these last eleven years…

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Thank you for writing your letter. I can't believe that people didn't realize that the very essence of a union is it's seniority provisions. Without seniority there is no union. I would love to know how NY alone voted. To bad we can't rescind the vote on grounds of insanity.

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Ga...


I am so sick over the ratification of what is now the final demise of our union. Thank you for this letter addressed to those who have no clue as to what they gave away. Too bad it falls on eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear. I will be long gone by the time "they" find out how they shot themselves in the foot or should I say "ruined their own future".


I am in such shock over this. What the f--k happened?

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Even More Responses to:

An open letter to NABET members, who either voted FOR this contract or did not bother to vote at all,


Shame!! Shame on The Union Leadership, Shame on the Company Negotiators, Shame on those who did not even take the time to vote, Shame on those who voted yes under the guise that this was the "best deal we can get", Shame on those who do not care about the younger NABET guys, Shame on those who did not respect those who came first, who fought for everything we just lost!! FINALLY, SHAME on ALL of us for letting this Happen!!!!!

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Don't ask, I won’t do it

Don't use loyalty, I have none left.

Leave me alone and I will do my job, but no more than that.

I will ask our managers if I have a question, rather than take the initiative.

(God help us)

I will take and use whatever we have left to us with no guilt.

I am not a qualified instructor, don't ask me to train my or anyone else’s replacement.

I will scrutinize my bottom line as hard as they do theirs, If I sense an advantage I will take it..

Lastly as you all know, everybody you ask voted no!!!

Thanks for your time and effort in writing these letters on our behalf.

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Gary,


Great communication, as usual. I am absolutely sick over the way our NON-UNION has

handled this. Are we the only union in existence without a seniority list?


You heard me at the meeting, MERGE. Billion dollar Corporations do it every day.

If we don't merge with others (AI, Guild, Writers) who can help shut this hell hole down it will get even worse.


At this point, our only recourse is to vote our officers out, ALL OF THEM!

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Divide and conquer!!!!!! They did it and we for MANY CONTRACTS did nothing.

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Gary ,


Yeah, I agree with these sentiments. Although I don't blame our leadership. It is ourselves who did not achieve more.

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Thank you for writing your letter. I can't believe that people didn't realize that the very essence of a union is its seniority provisions. Without seniority there is no union. I would love to know how NY alone voted. To bad we can't rescind the vote on grounds of insanity.


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"On behalf of our bargaining committee, I want to thank our ABC members for their support and patience during these difficult negotiations," NABET-CWA President John Clark said. "Without their support, we wouldn't have been able to win the numerous and significant concessions we were able to wrest from the company during the intense final week of bargaining."

CWA President Larry Cohen praised Clark and the rest of the bargaining team, calling the contract, "an enormous accomplishment given the management demands to end seniority and the pension, and the intensity of this fight for so many months. Your leadership and the outstanding bargaining committee, working with great local leaders and mobilizers, are a model for all of us."

This contract that was ratified is the worst package that NABET has ever had. To say that the negotiators were able to wrest significant concessions from the company is like saying my jailer was going to shoot me dead but let me simply rot in jail for the rest of my life.

Your article makes it sound as if we made great strides when in fact we lost our seniority and our pension can accrue as little as 0% for every additional year that we work (the pension already had a low accrual rate of as low as .65% per year.)

As far as the outstanding bargaining committee and the great local leaders and mobilizers being a model for all of us, there was virtually no mobilization efforts in NY other than wearing an arm band that looked like something out of the Hitler Youth Movement.

Our great local leaders and mobilizers should have told us not to vote for this contract. In fact, they should have realized that they had no business negotiating against the company's highly paid and highly skilled labor lawyers.

I can guarantee you one thing and that is that every one of our great local leaders and mobilizers that work in NY will be losing their great local union jobs in the very next election. As far as the CWA Newsletter is concerned, I shall never believe anything that you write again after seeing how you've skewed this report.

Gary S. Boyarsky
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We've had quite a reaction to the CWA Newsletter and quite a reaction to the reactions. Here they are with the names of the authors removed.
Gary S. Boyarsky
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Gar,

Can you publish, in an e-mail, e-mail addresses of our CWA leaders so all who
have responded to you can send our thoughts to these ass holes.

Thanks

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Why did you ever beleive anything that the CWA wrote or sent in the first place? I BLOCK their self congradulating bs. How about Clark? I can personally give you an example where he was (is) a total scum bag and, in my opinion, any dues sent to him (the international) amounts to paying protection money to the mob. You should ask Serf about dealing with Clark. In my opinion Ruthhiezer represents us as well as Clark does.

The CWA is about as relevent to us as weather conditions in Outer Mongolia. If our representatives had any brains they would have joined with any of the following:

Stagehands
Writers
Directors

No, joining the CWA was ONLY, in my opinion, a step in the political aspirations of our former Union President and had nothing to do with serving the benefit of the general membership.
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With all due respect, does the White House Communications Office write for your newsletter?

How can anyone even remotely associated with labor think that the Disney/ABC contract is a good one? How can anyone with a vision for the future think that progress has been made? Does anyone at CWA really understand what has happened? The negotiating team certainly does not, nor did the membership that agreed to such a devastating attack on labor based on fear that "this is best we can hope for." What a sell out. Hummmm, wonder what could have caused that?

You all need to review the agreement that the Directors Guild just reached with management, PRIOR TO CONTRACT EXPIRATION. It's available on line, go check it out.

The good news? There appears to be no need for a union anymore, it's every man for himself now. Who needs senority? Who needs a pension? I can take the money I lost and the future of my security and take the dues I pay to NABET and CWA to offset those losses. Thanks for the opportunity to hopefully break free!

You should all be ashamed of yourselves and your ridiculous written propoganda. It is gratuitous, patronizing, and insulting to intelligent members that now see years of significant professional accomplishment and loyal committment to a work ethic go down the drain. The members that voted to accept this contract will now have to live with it, but will certainly not be able to enjoy the career that I have.

CWA, thanks for all your help. Now, go back to your lavish lobbying efforts at our expense. Enjoy rubbing elbows with Washington politicos that you think are actually going to help us as you sell out your membership. You are on an ego oddessy of monumental proportions, at our expense. I look forward to the day when NABET dissolves this relationship that has been expensive and useless.

Please, no more newsletter articles that are supposed to make me feel good. Get a reality check. Please. Sour grapes? No, it's knowledge and wisdom based on years of experience and understanding that now brings anger towards those that try to make lemonade out of the lemons they harvested.

with shame, a member of NABET 16

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Billiant!!! and couldn't be more to what the majority of the staff people think!!

Whos bright idea was it to merge with them anyway.

I didnt even think they helped us when we had the lockout!

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Very well put! I wish I could have said it so eloquently.

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How can anyone even remotely associated with labor think that the Disney/ABC contract is a good one?

When it's better than a worse one.

How can anyone with a vision for the future think that progress has been made?
Visions of the future notwithstanding, when the final package is better than the original and subsequent ones.

Does anyone at CWA really understand what has happened? The negotiating team certainly does not, With all due respect, I think that's unfair. The negotiating team could say the same of you.

You all need to review the agreement that the Directors Guild just reached with management, PRIOR TO CONTRACT EXPIRATION. It's available on line, go check it out.

I don't know what your point is here but mixing apples and oranges accomplishes nothing. The two situations are by no means comparable.

There appears to be no need for a union anymore, it's every man for himself now.

Who needs seniority? Who needs a pension?

Sorry but this is pure hyperbole.

CWA, thanks for all your help. Now, go back to your lavish lobbying efforts at our expense. Enjoy rubbing elbows with Washington politicos that you think are actually going to help us as you sell out your membership.

You are on an ego oddessy of monumental proportions, at our expense. I look forward to the day when NABET dissolves this relationship that has been expensive and useless.

I might agree with some of this except that two paragraphs earlier you claimed to be 'breaking free' of the union so why would you even care?
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Gary,

While I whole heartedly agree with the fact that this is a terrible contract, the real blame lies with the membership. Even though the 'leadership' came in with a 'recommendation' to ratify, the responsibility lies with the membership! This isn't the first time a less-than-adequate contract has been brought back to the membership with a recommendation to ratify.

In an earlier open letter you aptly placed the blame on the membership.

Perhaps you can find out where the votes that voted for ratification came from so that you can level your angst in that direction.

However, remember that there is a predominant section within our union, the numbers of which constitute a significant 'balance of power' in their direction! The way this contract was proposed to the membership by the company, it took significant advantage from that 'faction' to swing the votes for approval. There was/is a significant number of NABET members who would not have been seriously affected by any of the most deleterious changes and proposals. Consequently, it could not be expected that these 'members' would risk loss of income to support a rejection.

Furthermore, with the growing shift to 'daily-hire' employment, there can be expectation of even more erosion to the workplace standards, practices and benefits. Until we can get a solid commitment from 'union members', whose responsibility it is to stand united, we can expect and will experience a continued slide downward.

The only thing remaining is to stick to this contract to the letter. Do not allow exceptions or 'releases' unless it is accompanied with concessions by the company which might bring relief from the really bad points of the contract. It is not 'outside the box' to negotiate addendums to the contract in mid-term! Let's all use our heads now and try to make the 'system' work for our benefit.

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Gary,

You are a well respected TD, member of NABET and employee of ABC. I do think that when you speak, people on both sides listen.

I just want to thank you for your voice.
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The blame is on the members, you are right. In the past when the leadership brought back a proposal, at least on the sly they told us that it is bad and they were really looking for a no vote.

While this membership is totally complacent and lazy, the leadership is and has always been awful at communicating. They did not go around talking individually to the members in their work areas. Guaranteed, if I was on a remote in Palm Springs, they'd be there to talk to me. If I was in NR, they would never show themselves.

How the CWA can put out a press release that says that this was a model that other unions should follow is absurd.

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ABSURD is not even close to the definition!! I have other 'thoughts'! If you examine the history of our sector Pres. (Clark) you can see the problem stems from that level. He is the very essence of why we even have a 'daily-hire' clause in our contract. It started with NBC when he was their NY local President! His presence in the sector office has proven to be the poison that pervades our situation. CWA prints that which Clark gives them to print.

The only positive result of this contract ratification is that the pension remains in existence. Even though it starts at 0.65%, it will be able to grow and net a retroactive improvement down the road. If the negotiators had allowed the pension to freeze, that would have killed any hope of growth.

The pension would have been converted to an ALL BOND PORTFOLIO which would be designed to provide only the obligations as of the date of the 'freeze'.

Keep your spirits up and have faith........positive results can be had from positive attitudes.

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Just in case you thought they were doing it for free:

AD REVENUE from streaming increased 38% to $1.37 billion during 2007, according to Accustream iMedia Research. The report says between 2.1 billion and 2.7 billion streams were viewed every month - excluding user-generated content. Pre-roll ads generated $420 million.

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John,

I have been a member of NABET since 1968. Gary has sent you an e-mail regarding his open letter as well as union member responses. READ THEM! It represents our true Feelings. You and our so-called leaders, sold us out.
My Father and Grandfather (both union activists) are rolling over in their graves.

A use to be, proud member of NABET.
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Gary,
Thank you for putting into words what I and many others are feeling. I couldn't have done a better job in relating to them what is going to happen in the next election.

What we must do is get the word out throughout the country and remove anyone that was associated with this fraud.
Thank you,
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Keep the emails and fire coming, let them come and live under the same contract rules the rest of us now have. Also, getting rid of Jim Joyce from the national level would really teach him a lesson.
Thank you.
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Hi Gary. Let me preface my remarks by saying that I voted 'no' on this package, however I feel the need to react to some of your remarks.
This contract that was ratified is the worst package that NABET has ever had.
No argument there, however it's also true that every package ratification that's taken place in the 26 years that I've been here has also been the worst package that Nabet had ever had up to that date. I don't offer that as an excuse but a true statement of fact attributable,more than anything else, to the time and place we live in. It shouldn't surprise anyone that that trend continues and that, in and of itself, it is not sufficient as a criticism of this package.

To say that the negotiators were able to wrest significant concessions from the company is like saying my jailer was going to shoot me dead but let me simply rot in jail for the rest of my life.

You can choose to describe it in those terms if you like but the fact remains that up to the package that was on the table prior to the one that was ratified we would have lost our pension system entirely and the detrimental changes to the seniority system notwithstanding, we would have lost virtually the entire seniority system as well, with the 'golden boy' or 'step over' clause that existed.

I am not happy with the changes to the seniority system either, in fact that's the main reason that I voted 'no' but I do not agree that it's the end of seniority and I do believe that it is much better than what was on the table before.

Your article makes it sound as if we made great strides.

Here again I see this as a glass half full or half empty. Either way there's the same amount of water in the glass but if you look at it in terms of the progress that was made from the beginning to the end, one could argue that although it is a total net loss for us it could have been much worse.

One could then say that minimizing negatives and choosing between the lesser of two evils is no way to go through life but I know you and I know that you're as much of a realist as I am.

Unfortunately, all too often, that's just the way life is. Frankly speaking, when I look at the overall terrain, the people that we are up against, their attitudes, their motivations, their mind set, etc. I think that our negotiating committee is to be commended for being able to achieve what they did and I seriously doubt that any outside, high paid, hired guns could have done any better.

we lost our seniority.

I'm sorry but I think this is an exaggeration. The way I read it, our seniority system has been seriously compromised but I do not agree that we've lost it all.

our pension can accrue as little as 0% for every additional year that we work (the pension already had a low accrual rate of as low as .65% per year.)

Nothing new here Gary. This was all true under the previous arrangement but you fail to mention that, as a result of this agreement, the accrual rate for 2007 will be 1.78 which is higher then it's been in many years and that in fact the ultimate rate that becomes effective for the additional three years will be based on market conditions, not an entirely alien notion but one that resurrected our pension from the grave in our last contract.

Yes, it could go to zero (although that's about as likely as Ruthizer suddenly becoming a union organizer) but it could also go higher. In any case it's almost guaranteed to go higher than 65.

(the pension already had a low accrual rate of as low as .65% per year.)

And by the way, I don't think this is true. Unless I'm mistaken (not entirely an alien notion either) .65 was only the bottom benchmark delineated in the last contract but which was subject to the market review at the end. In fact, the accrual rate was able to be raised, retroactively, as a result of the review and so I don't think we've ever actually had year of .65 accrual.

Our great local leaders and mobilizers should have told us not to vote for this contract.

I'm not sure I get this. The local leaders that were on the negotiating committee were not likely to tell us to vote no or they wouldn't have brought the package back in the first place. They did so because they thought that this was the best deal that could be gotten at this time, and although I voted 'no' I'm not really sure that they weren't right...and I would challenge anyone who claims to be.

As for the other local leaders, if I'm not mistaken, I think that the E-board took a vote but were split and so were unable to present a unified position but as for the individual members, I know, pretty much where they stood.

they should have realized that they had no business negotiating against the company's highly paid and highly skilled labor lawyers.

I don't agree with the 'hired gun' hypothesis. I don't think our people were out smarted or out gunned by the other side. In fact, as I said, I think they did about as good as anyone could have under the circumstances and they should be recognized for their efforts.

I think the onus was on us to vote this down and then do the 'dirt time' that we would have to do to try to get a better deal. It might not have meant strike (but could have) but it surely would have meant an overwhelming commitment from virtually all members for an extended period of time.

Do you think our membership was up to that task? That's quite a roll of the dice and either way, I don't have to tell you that there are no guarantees. At the end of the day we could have wound up much worse than we even are now.
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Dear Mr. Clark,

It's a shame to think that someone who was suppose to be supportive of it's membership would put out a statement like you did. I guess you view NABET members as STUPID and UNEDUCATED as the company views us.

Your statement clearly tells me that you are only there to collect our dues and that there is no other purpose to your position. Please tell me where we as CWA and NABET members benefitted from the lastest contract. I guess I'm really as dumb as I look.

1 comment:

Ken Michel said...

Hey Circus Boy, you still got a hardon against NABET ever since you couldn't make it as a VR at ABC in the 1980's.

Gary's been working out of Roger Goodman's rectum almost as long.