The IATSE and its Local 796, Television Broadcast and Studio Employees of Texas completed negotiations with Fox Sports Net Southwest and Lonestar Mobile Television for a first collective bargaining agreement covering technicians working on sports broadcast, it was announced by International President Thomas C. Short. The contract, which covers all Texas-based professional and college sports broadcasts, was overwhelmingly ratified by the membership on December 22, 2003.
The agreement will provide access to health and retirement benefits through the IATSE National Benefit Plans. Workers employed under the terms of the new agreement will see gains in the area of job security including “just cause” discipline and discharge, training related to new technology, health and safety, a grievance procedure ending in binding arbitration, minimum work calls, overtime provisions, travel provisions, and general wage and benefit contribution increases in each of the 3 1/2 year term.
The IATSE narrowly lost an election with Lonestar Mobile covering these same employees in the summer of 1999. The Employees voted again in the summer of 2001 with an overwhelming majority indicating the desire to be represented by the IATSE.
“The ratification of this agreement caps a long, hard fought organizing drive, one in which the local union officers and sports broadcast employees never gave up. Because of their tenacity and perseverance, the outcome was a fair agreement that will enhance the working life of everyone employed under it,” Short stated.