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NABET-CWA Local 25-Represented Daily Hire Workers - Who Help Bring Us Televised Buffalo Sabres Home Games, Reach A Contract Extension Agreement For The Upcoming NHL Season

Published Thursday, September 9, 2021
by NABET-CWA Local 25 News & WNYLaborToday.com Staff
NABET-CWA Local 25-Represented Daily Hire Workers - Who Help Bring Us Televised Buffalo Sabres Home Games, Reach A Contract Extension Agreement For The Upcoming NHL Season

(BUFFALO, NEW YORK) - National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET)-Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 25-represented Daily Hire Workers, who help bring us televised Buffalo Sabres games, have reached an agreement on a contract extension for the upcoming National Hockey League (NHL) season.

The one-year extension for the 2021-2022 NHL season between Local 25 and Hockey Western New York LLC covers the 70-Member Bargaining Unit, which represents technical positions that produce the Buffalo Sabres’ in-house score board show, flagship cable broadcast on MSG (the Madison Square Garden Network), and the various visiting team television feeds. 

The Unit (Some of whom are pictured above/Photo Courtesy of NABET-CWA Local 25), includes: Camera Operators, Tape Operators, Audio Operators, Video Operators, Graphics, Technical Directors, Stage Manager and Utility.

The agreement also preserves the Bargaining Unit’s current language and provides the Union-represented Workers a pay increase for the upcoming season, NABET-CWA Local 25 President Roy Schrodt told WNYLaborToday.com this week.

“The contract extension was ‘easily’ ratified,” Schrodt told Your On-Line Labor Newspaper.  “It also includes a wage increase (which Schrodt declined to detail), workplace protections ‘stayed the same’ and ‘potentially more work’ for our Members as the Sabres ‘welcome back more fans in the stands this season’ and - ‘hopefully, a full second crew’ for Canadian broadcasts (when Canadian-based NHL teams come to Buffalo to play the Sabres).”

The extension was brought about by the COVID-19 Pandemic, which basically stopped the Sabres, as well as other NHL teams, from allowing fans into their home arenas for the majority of the season to watch the team play in-person at KeyBank Center. 

But now that other professional sports leagues, including the National Football League, have announced new rules for their fans attending home games this season, it is expected fully-vaccinated Sabres’ fans will be allowed into the arena to attend upcoming contests.

“We are ‘hopeful additional (Local 25) Members will be needed this season’ (in order to televise Sabres’ home games),” Schrodt said.

Asked what the reaction of his Union’s Membership was to the contract extension, Schrodt replied: “Everybody’s (the NABET-CWA Members) ‘pretty happy because they have all had a really rough year economically because of COVID.’”

“And, I was ‘very happy (management) reached out to make a deal and make a reasonable offer.’  ‘We have a good working relationship,’” he added of Hockey Western New York LLC.

NABET-CWA Local 25 represents nearly 200 Members, including those employed at Buffalo TV Stations WKBW and WIVB. 

The Local also represents eight TV Station Employees at Wheeling, West Virginia’s WTRF-TV.

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