IBEW Local 4 members ratify contract with KSDK Channel 5 ending a months-long boycott


After a months-long boycott supported by Labor and its allies, IBEW Local 4 members at KSDK Channel 5 have ratified a new three-year agreement with the station that includes raises, new hires into the bargaining unit and a guarantee to hire union workers to replace retirees.

Members ratified the agreement on July 29.

Local 4 represents St. Louis television and radio workers not only at Channel 5, but all other stations as well as video production studios and remote sports and entertainment productions  in the St. Louis market.

IBEW Local 4 Business Manager/Financial Secretary Mike Pendergast said the union made considerable concessions in its last contract to give the station “jurisdictional flexibility.” However, Tegna-KSDK failed to live up to its own concession not to use that flexibility to result in shrinking of the bargaining unit.

“Going into this contract negotiation we had concern about the ongoing reduction of our bargaining unit we’ve experience in the last few years that was contrary to what they had assured us when we gave them some allowances a few years ago,” Pendergast said. “The real issue for us was putting a thumb in the dam to stop that work from going away.”


  • Additional union positions – The new contract assures presence of two bargaining unit positions in marketing /sales and an agreement to retain those two positions for the term of the three-year contract.
    “That was a problem for us going into this, we had lost presence up there,” Pendergast said. “They agreed that they would put two new union positions in that department.”
  • An agreement to replace retiring photographer/editors with new bargaining unit hires.
  • Lowers salary progression to four years from seven.
  • Eliminates discretionary bonuses to bargaining unit employees, so all unit employees will receive the same companywide bonuses as other employees.
    “It will no longer be discretionary,” Pendergast said. “We’ll get the same as the others.”
  • Juneteenth added as a personal holiday.
  • Establishes a higher wage rate for full-time, part-time and temporary employees.
    “This station is still way behind the other stations in town,” Pendergast said. “However, the increases are comparable to what the other television stations received.”

During negotiations, Local 4 also resolved an outstanding grievance where two unit members were not being allowed to progress on the salary scale. Tegna agreed to the union’s interpretation of the issue and the two employees will receive top scale going forward.

Local 4 agreed to provide the same allowance included in the last contract to allow work sharing between unions to give the station flexibility and a better handle on costs, so long as it does not result in shrinking the bargaining unit.

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