The National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET) and NBC yesterday reached a tentative agreement to settle the 16-week strike of 2,800 union members against the network.

That total includes about 300 members of Local 31 who have been striking the NBC News bureau here since June 29. The previous contract had expired March 31.

NABET leadership yesterday agreed to submit a contract proposal and a settlement letter immediately to its 15 striking units around the country, with the vote to be announced Oct. 19.

NABET spokesman John Krieger said yesterday that picket lines would remain at NBC facilities until the vote is completed. If the contract is ratified, it would then be up to NBC to rule when NABET employes could return to work.

Krieger cautioned that rejection by any one of the 15 units would imperil the settlement. He said union leaders made no recommendations to membership regarding the pact and called its fate "uncertain." The powerful Burbank, Calif., local has maintained a militant stand against the network ...

Starting last Wednesday in Washington, the two sides had bargained right through to 11 p.m. Friday, after being called back to the table by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service ...

There was a minor flap Saturday when NABET returned for more talks to hammer out details of the settlement letter only to discover that NBC negotiators, told by the FMCS on Friday that no more sessions were scheduled, had gone home to New York ...

But they subsequently made contact and yesterday afternoon completed the settlement letter, agreeing that any pending charges of misconduct during the long walkouts will be handled under terms of the pending agreement. NBC has reportedly notified at least 25 union members of proposed suspensions or other disciplinary action because of incidents that occurred during what has now become the longest strike ever against the network ...

NABET's longest strike against a network was the 20-week walkout against ABC in 1977 ...

Both sides seem to have made concessions to end the strike ...

NBC, which originally wanted a two-year pact, has agreed to a 29-month agreement from the date of ratification that will end March 31, 1990, guaranteeing pay raises of 3.68 percent the first year, 4.64 percent the second and a lump sum payment of 3 percent of the current base pay on April 1, 1990 ...

In the key daily hire issue, NBC has agreed to limit temporary employe hires to 4 percent of all actual employes in any unit the first year and a cap of 6 percent the second year. In addition, a review group would meet on a quarterly basis to review how the system was working ...

NBC had originally sought to increase the daily hire base by including retired employes in the count at each unit ...

The daily hires -- who are represented by NABET -- will receive an additional 30 percent in pay the first year and 40 percent the second, since they won't be eligible for most regular benefits. However, NBC has agreed to look into pension and other benefits for the temporary employes ...

The hires issue affects all NBC engineering employes as well as news writers and producers in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles ...

The settlement also contained the elimination, sought by the union, of two-tier pay scales at both the Washington and Cleveland NBC bureaus and modified technical language in the basic contract as well as benefit program guarantees from General Electric, the owner of NBC since 1986 ...

Camerapersons and other striking technicians had averaged some $64,000 annually prior to the strike, according to NBC figures ...

In recent weeks, there had been signs of increasing unrest among strikers over the union leadership's previous decision not to submit any final NBC proposal to the membership for a vote ...

A week ago,a rumor circulated in New York following a GE management meeting in Phoenix that after weeks during which NBC management personnel have filled in for absent NABET technicians, network management had determined some 400 of the union positions could eventually be eliminated, mostly through attrition ...

Management ploy or not (our NBC sources were ambivalent on its legitimacy although confirming the network has obviously come to some conclusions after operating with a smaller staff for four months), Krieger said yesterday he had heard the same rumor but that at no time was such a threat ever made by NBC during the negotiation sessions just ended ...

NBC vice president Curt Block, in a statement yesterday, said, "We are very pleased that the NABET leadership has agreed to submit the company's proposal to the membership for ratification. We believe it is a fair and equitable offer and hope it will lead to an early end to the strike" ...

Also in the News Channel 5 vice president and general manager Betty Endicott is reported resting comfortably at Suburban Hospital following successful lung surgery Friday ...

In her absence, Bob Kreek, executive vice president of Fox Inc., and Derk Zimmerman, president of Fox Television, will each spend a week at WTTG minding the store ...

Channel 9 anchor Gordon Peterson, chosen by Post-Newsweek Stations last week to replace Martin Agronsky as moderator of "Agronsky & Co." in January, will get some practice on Saturday, Oct. 23, when he takes over the broadcast while Agronsky takes a week off ...

The program will be renamed "Inside Washington" when Peterson takes the helm permanently ...

WUSA and Post-Newsweek Stations, meanwhile, have a large party in the works, probably in early December, for Agronsky, who started the program 18 years ago and is stepping aside just short of his 73rd birthday on Jan. 2 ...

And NBC is throwing a 40th-anniversary party for "Meet the Press" at the National Building Museum here the evening of Oct. 27 ...

By the time of the party, there will have been 2,008 "Meet the Press" broadcasts, which began Nov. 6, 1947 ...

And about 1,500 invitations have gone out to as many guests and journalists who have appeared on the Sunday morning show over the years. An exact count of all the participants can't be determined since many prominent guests (and journalists) have been repeats. The late senator and vice president Hubert Humphrey still holds the record with 25 appearances ...

Also expected are all four principal moderators over the years -- founder Lawrence E. Spivak, Bill Monroe, Marvin Kalb and the incumbent, Chris Wallace ...

The last time NBC threw a party for "Meet the Press," celebrating the 25th anniversary, Imelda Marcos showed up all decked out in pearls ...

Moving Right Along Channel 7's District reporter Del Walters begins a three-parter tonight on its 5 o'clock news tracing "a day in the life of Mayor Marion Barry" ...

Also on the agenda this week: Another "Capital to Capital" broadcast by ABC News on Wednesday at 11:30 p.m., this time linking members of Congress and deputies of the Supreme Soviet in a live, unedited satellite discussion of human rights in both nations ...

Peter Jennings for ABC and Leonid Zolotarevsky, director of the international division of Gostelradio in Moscow, will host the program, which will probe charges of human rights violations involving psychiatric detainees, refuseniks, political prisoners and dissidents in the U.S.S.R. and of racism, homelessness and unemployment in the United States ...

The American guests on the 90-minute program, which is to be broadcast simultaneously in the Soviet Union starting at 7:30 a.m. Oct. 15, will be Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) ...

In the works at CBS' "60 Minutes": a Mike Wallace profile of Russian e'migre' pianist Vladimir Feltsman. CBS cameras were at the White House Sept. 27 when Feltsman stirred the audience with spirited renditions of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and a Scott Joplin rag during his concert ...

CBS, which began following Feltsman before he and his family left their homeland in August, will attend his Nov. 11 concert at Carnegie Hall before completing the profile, which should air in early 1988, according to Wallace ...

Tomorrow morning on CBS News' "Nightwatch," ABC's Sam Donaldson and CBS' Bill Plante, two of the White House correspondents who irritated a group of visiting school principals and teachers when the pair yelled questions at President Reagan last Monday after a Rose Garden ceremony, will be confronted by two of those teacher-critics ...

Do you suppose CBS found the teacher who could be heard muttering "oh, shut up" on the Cable News Network's tape of the incident? ...