Friday, July 14, 2017

NPR May Face SAG-AFTRA Strike Action

National Public Radio isn’t ruling out a potential strike should no agreement with SAG-AFTRA be reached by end-of-day Friday.

Becky Sullivan, a member of the bargaining team, said there is a possibility of a strike, according to TheWrap.  Multiple media reports say the union is claiming that NPR’s management is trying to undermine the union by demanding a two-tier salary system as well as impede on the union’s ability to enforce contract clauses through arbitration.

Becky Sullivan
Sullivan, also a producer on “All Things Considered,” told Poynter that there are two issues at the heart of the negotiations. The previous contract expired on June 30, but it was extended through Friday.

“They are trying to lower salary minimums, and they are really trying to weaken the power of the union,” she said. “They want to write in more flexibility for outside people to do union work and take away the union’s ability to file a grievance.”

SAG-AFTRA’s new website also includes a letter to NPR President and CEO Jarl Mohn by about 35 NPR journalists, accusing management of trying to “rip it up” in terms of the contract.

“Members of your management team seem to believe that NPR has become the revered media company it is — a company that they boast about serving — despite that contract,” said the letter. “They misunderstand NPR’s history and culture: NPR has become great partly because of our labor-management contract. The contract has ensured proper working conditions, collaboration and collegiality, and an atmosphere of mutual respect. That culture is one of the main reasons we choose to work here. That culture attracts some of our youngest and newest talents, from diverse backgrounds.”

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