A dispute over unionization at Baltimore’s WYPR will be resolved by the National Labor Relations Board.
WYPR staff voted July 30 on whether to seek representation from broadcast union SAG-AFTRA. Nine voted in favor and 11 against, with seven votes contested by one of the parties, according to an NLRB official who requested anonymity when commenting on an ongoing proceeding.
The NLRB will review the contested votes to determine their eligibility, with the vote recounted only if at least three of the contested votes are determined eligible. SAG-AFTRA can only enter the workplace with a majority vote. The NLRB plans to issue a report on the disputes next week, including recommendations on how to resolve standing objections. Weeks of challenges, objections and hearings could delay a final decision, the NLRB official said.
Two of the contested voters are on-air hosts Dan Rodricks and Sheilah Kast; WYPR challenged their participation, asserting that they are supervisors rather than staff. A separate document filed with the NLRB shows that the board sided with management in ruling Rodricks and Kast to be supervisors, but that decision was appealed.
WYPR is the fourth pubmedia station in two years to seek SAG-AFTRA representation. Staffers at Southern California Public Radio, San Diego’s KPBS and Chicago Public Media have all voted in favor of organizing.