Current Contract Negotiations at WBAI

The bottom line is that “negotiations” are over. WBAI Management dragged its heels regarding Contract negotiations and only met with the Shop Committee in March 2001. By the time they could be gotten to a meeting again, in mid August 2001, they had already influenced the Paid Staff and the many illegal hires they'd made to switch Unions to AFTRA. Any further negotiations over a Union Contract will be done by AFTRA, but I'll gladly link to any Web page they choose to put up on those negotiations.

The rest of this page is left here as an archive of what happened.

As might be imagined, we are shocked and angered by the efforts of the Pacifica National Board to bust the Union at WBAI and treat workers throughout Pacifica unfairly. Here are some documents related to the struggle to save the Union and, it is our belief, WBAI from the reckless, incompetent and hypocritical actions of this handful of people who have never built up a radio station in their lives.

Currently, October 2001, the Union has only been able to meet with Interim General Manager Utrice Leid about the Contract for two days in late March. Efforts to set up further meetings are being stymied by Management's Los Angeles based lawyer. Unfortunately, there are some other, disturbing, issues that have come up at the station. These issues are noted here.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ruled on the original decision the regional NLRB had made allowing the Unpaid Staff to be in the WBAI Union. Unfortunately, they have overruled that previous decision and have ordered the Unpaid Staff out of the Collective Bargaining Unit and the Union.

The final NLRB decision in .PDF format.

The final NLRB decision in HTML format (It's better than their own Web page).

The Pacifica National Board has redesignated itself the Pacifica National Governing Board. At its meeting in Berkeley, California February 26-28, 1999, it voted to change the Pacifica Foundation's bylaws to remove all voting power from members of the Local Advisory Boards. This change makes the Pacifica National Governing Board a self selecting, self perpetuating committee whose members own WBAI and the four other Pacifica stations. This Web site covers the prelude to this action and the responses to it.

The Pacifica National Board met in Secaucus, New Jersey on June 12th to 14th, 1998. They said that they'd moved it to a place inconvenient to New Yorkers, where WBAI is located, in order to save money. Most of us think it was to keep the crowds down at the National Board meetings. Daylight is not what these folks enjoy. Chief Steward R. Paul Martin made a statement to the Pacifica National Board during the Open Session on June 14th.

The Pacifica National Board met on June 13-15, 1997, in Berkeley, California to make big decisions about Pacifica, and WBAI. The WBAI Shop Committee sent a letter to the National Board members, which was read to them by Lyn Gerry of Take Back KPFA. Here's that letter.

In February 1997, the Regional NLRB finally rendered its decision. We won then, but the decision has since been reversed by a three member panel of the NLRB. Here is our press release on the regional NLRB decision:

Press Release on NLRB decision maintaining bargaining unit

Here is the decision itself:

We have had requests for two different versions of this document. So we are supplying them, as requested. The first version is a single, long page, and the other gives you separate pages just as the decision is rendered on paper. And, yes, they really did misspell “breadth.”

National Labor Relations Board decision - all on one page format.

National Labor Relations Board decision - in separate pages.

We've issued some bulletins to the Paid and Unpaid Staff at WBAI, and we've issued several press releases about this entire, evolving state of affairs. We have sent out a letter to the press, Unions, labor organizations, and just plain folk about what's going on at WBAI and Pacifica at this time. All of these documents are accessible below.

Note: there are some graphics integral to these documents. There's no way around it and I hope that they load fast enough for you now.

Choose the bulletin you want to see from the menu below, then click on the button to the right to go to it.

Click here to go to the Bulletin

The Press Release About Union Busting

On March 6, 1997, job actions were held at three Pacifica stations to protest the current attempts at Union busting and station-destroying.

On January 31, 1997, a “Free the Media!” conference was held in Manhattan. The WBAI Union decided to let those in attendance know that there was something awry at WBAI. The conference was about the media becoming more and more the corporate, conglomerate, establishment cheerleaders of the status quo. At least one Pacifica General Manager, along with some Pacifica National Board members, were there. We thought it was a good place to leaflet. Also, we have noted that the group Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) has been silent about the Pacifica hypocrisy in busting a union while purporting to be on the side of all workers, as has been The Nation. Both FAIR and The Nation are given air time at Pacifica stations. Since members of those entities were at this conference we thought it imperative that we let them know that we know. Many attendees at this conference were hearing about the attempt to bust the WBAI union for the first time and they were shocked.

Free Our Media! leaflet

On December 17, 1996, the Paid and Unpaid Staff of WBAI took an unprecedented step: we staged an informational picket line in front of WBAI's studios and offices at 505 Eighth Ave. in Manhattan. It was a very successful demonstration with almost all available Paid Staff taking part and many unpaid Staff coming in for the event.

The Press Release about the informational picket line outside WBAI

In 1997, after nearly a year of very little progress in these Contract negotiations it became obvious that WBAI Management didn't want a Contract! They were very clearly using delaying tactics, and otherwise not bargaining in good faith. As a result of this the UE filed Unfair Labor Practice charges against Pacifica and WBAI Management.

The Press Release about UE Filing Unfair Labor Charges Against Pacifica/WBAI

WBAI Management went to the National Labor Relations Board and filed for a “Unit Clarification” to try and get the Business Manager and the Unpaid Staff removed from the Collective Bargaining Unit. On July 24-25, 1996, a hearing was held on this matter. After that both sides had to send in legal briefs to try and convince the N.L.R.B. to find in their favor. Here are the briefs filed with the N.L.R.B. on the “Unit Clarification” issue.

We have sent a letter out to everyone we can about what the National Board is doing to us.

Some WBAI listeners have started the Red Balloon Collective and are helping publicize the struggle of the Union at WBAI.

Back to the WBAI Union page.

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The contents of this Web page and subsequent Web pages on this site are copyright © 1996-2001, R. Paul Martin