Quarterly President Report, August 6, 2019

(Click here for the .pdf version)

The second quarter of 2019 has seen quite a bit of activity in Local 31. We hired a new part-time administrative employee, Nicole Ruiz, who has already proven herself to be a great asset to the office.

We have reached a tentative agreement with WJLA after more than three years of contract talks. When ratified, the new contract will run through 2022.
A new three year contract was ratified and put into place at PBS and runs through 2022.

Most significantly we are close to resolution of the fifteen year legal battle with CNN that will bring relief to many of our members.

We remain in talks with MCM and will open talks with the Senate Recording Studio in September.

We are making plans to lobby Congress on behalf of receiving pay equity for our Maslow members working at the House Recording Studio.

We remain in a conservative stance with regards to our investment portfolio with a majority of assets in stable growth funds.

In April the NABET Network Local Presidents met in Las Vegas where we visited the NAB show, viewed new technologies and discussed their potential impact on our members. Also discussed was growing our membership through organizing I.T. workers, DJ’s and MMJ's into NABET.

We will begin talks for a new contract with our OPEIU (administrative staff) workers in September.

In July we had both a NABET Sector Conference and a CWA Convention in Las Vegas. I attended along with Local 31 Vice-President, Bantu Opiotennione and RVP Carl Mayers. At the Sector Conference NABET-CWA President Charlie Braico and Vice-President Lou Marinaro were both reelected. Both are committed to growing NABET membership, negotiating and enforcing fair contracts with favorable work conditions. To that end NABET will begin negotiating terms for NBC NASCAR crews.

At the CWA Convention CWA President Chris Shelton and Vice-President Sara Steffens were also reelected. President Shelton, in his keynote, urged our members to not succumb to the divisive language coming from the White House and come together as working people to demand better pay and working conditions and to vote for representatives who are pro labor.

I feel confident that NABET-CWA can grow and continue to represent our craft employees well into the future.


Bob Williams
President, NABET-CWA Local 31



Broadcast Production Technician position is open and will close on August 14, 2019

Position Available: Broadcast Production Technician
Vacancy Announcement Number: HRS-005-19
Office/Location: U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
Closing Date: Aug 14, 2019
Salary Level/Range: $78,172
Proposed Starting Date: Immediate

Click here for more info:

Christina Perry from PBS has been sworn in

Congratulations to Christina Perry from PBS on her swearing in!

PBS Bulletin

June 10, 2019

On Thursday, June 6, 2019 your NABET-CWA Local 31 Bargaining Committee, consisting of rank and file member Kelly Hosey, NABET Local 31 Attorney Keith Bolek and Rebecca Richardson, along with Local 31 President Bob Williams, reached a Tentative Contract Agreement with PBS management.

The Agreement is for a term of three (3) years. We will send details of the Agreement out later this week.

A unit meeting is also being planned. Ballots should arrive by mail shortly.

I would like to thank and acknowledge Kelly Hosey for his hard work and diligence throughout this process.

Bob Williams
President, NABET-CWA Local31

WJLA Contract Bulletin

June 3, 2019

On Friday, May 31, 2019 your NABET-CWA Bargaining Committee composed of rank and file members Alton Morris and Rich Guastadisegni, NABET Local 31 Attorney Keith Bolek and Local 31 President, Bob Williams, reached a tentative agreement on a contract with the Sinclair Broadcast Group. The term of the agreement will be three (3) years.

The Union will set up a unit meeting for members to discuss the details of the contract, after which, ballots will be mailed to members.

I would like to thank and acknowledge Alton and Rich for their hard work and diligence throughout this process.


Bob Williams
NABET-CWA Local 31 President

Fred Saburro has passed away

May 10, 2019

Dear NABET-CWA Family,
It is with a very heavy heart that I write to inform you that our dear friend and colleague Fred Saburro died yesterday afternoon.  Freddie has struggled with health issues during the past several months, and yesterday God called him home to rest in eternity.
Freddie was a totally devoted leader, an extremely loyal friend and a true gentleman.  His imprint on each of us, and his impact on our Union, will be missed in a profound way, but we will never forget him.  As we mourn his passing, we must also celebrate the remarkable life of this legendary leader – the “Godfather of NABET.”
Freddie’s life was truly a life well lived.  We all have special memories of Freddie, and dozens of funny stories from our time with him.  Focusing on those memories and stories will help each of us through this very sad period.
At this time, Freddie’s wife Ida and the Saburro family are asking for space and privacy.  Out of respect for those wishes, please refrain from any telephone calls to the family during the next several days.
When we have further information, we will share it with you.
With regret and sympathy,

Charlie Braico

James Ellett Little has passed away

James Ellett Little
Age 82
NABET Local 31 member since May 1964

Of Falls Church, VA, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on April 28, 2019. James is preceded in death by his parents Anthony Russell Little and Wilburn Little Kuhn; and his brother Carl Anthony Little. James leaves behind to cherish his memory his devoted wife of 58 years, Anna (nee Rhoades); his beloved children, Russell Little and his husband Daniel Ryan and Rebecca Salyers and her husband Jack Salyers; and his three cherished grandsons, Jackson, Ryan, and Colin Salyers.
James had a 50 year career he loved with WJLA TV as a broadcast engineer. He loved being out on the water boating and fishing. Most of all, James loved spending time with his family.
A visitation for James will be held on Thursday, May 2, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., followed by a Celebration of Life at 11 a.m. at National Funeral Home, 7482 Lee Highway, Falls Church, Virginia 22042. He will be laid to rest at National Memorial Park.

Funeral Home

National Funeral Home
7482 Lee Highway Falls Church, VA 22042
(703) 560-4400

Published in The Washington Post on May 1, 2019

Quarterly President Report

Quarterly President Report April 23, 2019

This year started out in a very active fashion. We have concluded contracts with NBC and WHUT that will be in effect through 2022 and 2020, respectively. These contracts include pay raises over their terms, a signing bonus (NBC) and retro pay (WHUT).  In addition, NPR inked a two-year extension of their contract that included a signing bonus and guaranteed pay raises.

We are in active talks with Montgomery Community Media (MCM) and will begin talks with PBS in May of this year. The Senate Recording Studio (SRS) will begin negotiations this Fall. All other contracts remain in effect. We will begin talks with NASCAR technicians to get them a contract with NBC.

Although this is all positive news, the corporations that we negotiate with are intent on downsizing away from a well paid union workforce and transitioning to an unrepresented group of multimedia journalists (MMJ’s), who I feel we should try to organize into NABET.  Along the lines of corporate intransigence, we are entering the fourth (4th) year of contract negotiations with WJLA and the anti-union/anti-worker company, The Sinclair Broadcasting Group. We are also still involved with the fifteen (15) year legal battle with CNN concerning the members who were wrongfully dismissed in 2003. We are currently in mediation with that case.

As for Local 31, we are on stable financial footing thanks to some astute action taken by our Treasurer, Carl Mayers, in moving some of our investments from stocks to more stable investments.

We have installed new Shop Stewards for the term beginning April 1, 2019 and ending March 31, 2022, have increased participation of Executive Board members and have named several Assistants to the President. Petitions are now out for participation in the NABET-CWA Sector Conference that will be held in July 2019.

Shop Steward training will be provided in the coming months.

I was recently at the NAB Trade Show and saw how new technologies are consolidating what were once individual craft jobs into one person band operations.  We need to find ways to maintain jurisdiction over these technologies and the jobs they create. This will be one of our greatest challenges moving forward.

It is our involvement and participation in our Union which will give us strength and stability for the future.

In Solidarity,

Bob Williams
President NABET-CWA Local 31                                                      BW/mwopeiu153afl-cio

Senate Recording Studio Job Openings

Click here for employment opportunities with the Sergeant at Arms with the Senate Recording Studio.
Several positions are available!


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