News & Events

WGBH union seeks new talks

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The largest union at Boston public broadcaster WGBH wants to go back to the bargaining table.

Yesterday, officials of the union that represents 280 WGBH editors, writers, production workers, and marketing employees requested a resumption of contract negotiations and asked for a postponement of WGBH’s plan to implement the terms of its proposed three-year contract, which managers called their final offer.

WGBH managers previously said that if the union rejected the proposed contract, which was presented two weeks ago, they would implement it anyway, beginning tomorrow.

Union members rejected the proposal Sunday, voting 188 to 15 against the deal.

Imposing the contract “seems to be the direction that things are going, unfortunately,’’ said Jeanne Hopkins, vice president of communications at WGBH. “We hope the union changes its position and accepts our last, best offer.’’

Union officials said that WGBH management did not respond to a request for more time yesterday.

“We’re disappointed that we haven’t received a response from WGBH management since informing them on Sunday that our members so overwhelmingly rejected their contract offer,’’ said Jordan Weinstein, president of the Association of Employees of the Educational Foundation, Communications Workers of America, Local 1300, and WGBH’s local host of the public radio news program “All Things Considered.’’

Hopkins however, said WGBH managers did not get a request for further negotiations.

“What we have received from the union is a rejection of our proposed new contract by those union members who voted,’’ she said, noting that the union would need to present “a substantially new and materially different proposal.’’

“At this point, we need to move forward in the interests of all our employees,’’ she said.

WGBH management and the union had been in negotiations since August. Managers sought concessions that would allow them to assign employees to work across various platforms, including radio, television, and the Web, and would grant them authority to outsource work without negotiating.

Union officials have contested the proposals for outsourcing and for allowing on-air talent to be terminated without cause.

The union and the labor rights group Massachusetts Jobs with Justice are holding a protest rally at 4 p.m. today outside WGBH’s Brighton headquarters.

Johnny Diaz can be reached at

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