While NPR employees negotiate, staffers at two stations approve first union contracts

Print More
NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Dru Sefton)

NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Dru Sefton)

Staffers at Chicago Public Media and KPBS in San Diego agreed Tuesday to their first union contracts under the representation of the Screen Actors Guild–American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. Meanwhile, NPR and SAG-AFTRA are negotiating a contract renewal.

“Public media is growing and our two successful contract votes today demonstrate the growing desire for public media professionals to have a voice in their workplace to build an even better environment for generating news, talk and digital content,” said Mary Cavallaro, SAG-AFTRA’s chief broadcast officer, in a press release.

The two-year contract at Chicago Public Media includes new pay scales for some positions, annual salary increases and professional development benefits. Editorial staffers at CPM, which includes WBEZ, Vocalo and Sound Opinions, voted to unionize in December 2013 and began negotiations in March 2014.

KPBS and SAG-AFTRA agreed to a two-and-a-half–year contract that includes minimum pay for covered positions, annual increases, premium pay and professional development and training benefits. KPBS staffers voted to join the union in November 2013 and started contract negotiations in February 2014.

SAG-AFTRA also represents employees at pubmedia stations including KPCC in Los Angeles, KQED in San Francisco, WNYC in New York City and KPLU in Seattle.

NPR’s SAG-AFTRA members are also in the midst of contract negotiations. Their previous contract expired Tuesday, according to the union. A SAG-AFTRA spokesperson declined to comment on negotiations, citing a “mutually agreed-upon blackout.”

However, NPR’s SAG-AFTRA members are calling attention to the negotiations with a social media campaign using the hashtag #WeMakeNPR.

And there’s a video:

Related stories from Current: