Hello my Sisters and Brothers.
My name is GEOFF TURNER and it is a great honor to be your new business manager.
Right now I have the privilege of communicating with a diverse group of media and broadcasting professionals. Uncompromising, 14 hour-day, driven by instinct, on a mission, hardworking professionals. Never let anyone tell you otherwise.
I do not see individuals defined by regional or professional labels, but rather a group of members that see unity and fraternity to be a worthy goal that benefits us all.
We have all endured stress at work based on our bosses poor planning and poor communication, by lower management trying to increase their importance with upper management by disparaging and abusing our membership, by HR departments who are apologists and protectors of company’s legal interests.
And yet here we are, still working, still defending the importance of our skills and our jurisdiction, still insisting that we receive fair treatment, respect and a better future than the one on offer.
I remember when I first started in broadcasting, training in a control room 14 years ago. On my first day on the job I was taken aside by a group of Nabes at ABC News who in a very direct way taught me my first lesson about being in a union. They said this: It’s your first week, you seem like a good guy and that you will probably work out here. They told me that the company would come to me and ask me to work a four- hour minimum, or half-day rate. They told me to refuse the company’s half-day rate because Management would likely back down (which they did), but they also told me that if I took that four-hour minimum none of them would ever help me or rescue me when the going got tough during a three-alarm breaking news event.
I was kind of blown away, I didn’t take that as a threat. I took it as an affirmation that a group of working people had created a unified front and were dedicated to preserving their livelihoods and a stable quality of life. The battle between freelancers and staff was mostly already fought by that point, but these staff folks were including me in their plan. They were saying neither undercut yourself nor us, they were saying that we have common goals, they were saying “hang tough” and we will back you up. That conversation was private and probably illegal but it was instructional and unforgettable. That conversation taught me a lesson about the power of unity.
TV Hill Shooters and Studio Techs, WUSA members, WETA Master Control and Newshour members, Radio engineers, Sports Freelancers across our full territory from Maryland to Louisiana, CBS NEWS members, ENG, Maintenance, Truck and Satellite Ops, Ingest, Utilities, A1s, A2s, Robocam operators, Switchers. Shop stewards, Supervisors, Media Creators:
Know each other.
Listen to each other.
Teach each other.
Get each other gigs.
Trust each other.
Inform each other.
Warn each other.
Train each other.
Because if not, that makes us an easy target, and that makes our representation and collective bargaining less effective.
So I thank you for your support and I promise in turn to reach out and to collaborate with each of you. I will dedicate myself to working towards positive change, and most importantly I promise that there is no one in this Local that I will not defend with the full extent of my intellect and my energies.
We will follow the rules, our rules. Our bylaws, our constitution, and our federal regulations. We will not sidestep and dismiss our procedural requirements. We will not open ourselves up to the dangers of falling out of compliance with the IBEW. We must understand and use our bylaws and IBEW constitution to restrain our passions and paranoia when engaging in discussions. We must try to become parliamentary scholars and lead our own way. Many important answers are already there written down for us that will help navigate through our issues.
So lets begin: thank you for being here.
And please don’t ever take any four-hour minimums.
Business Manager’s Highlights for the Month of July
- Represented our Local at the Fourth District Progress Meeting alongside other Business Managers and International Officers from all the professional sectors of our union.
- Started Negotiations for our represented media membership at the IBEW IO headquarters in Washington, DC.
- Filed thirteen grievances against CBS NEWS for violations of the National Collective Bargaining Agreement. These grievances are currently under investigation by the Company.
- Moved our offices from Hunt Valley to Cabin John, Md.