By David Robb
June 14, 2019 7:11pm
Employees at KCRW, the public radio station in Santa Monica, have voted to recognize SAG-AFTRA as their union. The new bargaining unit will cover more than 90 public media professionals, including DJs, hosts, producers, reporters, production engineers, board operators and others who create content for all areas of KCRW, including music and news radio programming, digital content, podcasts and live events.
The employees made the request to unionize on May 30, when they delivered a petition to station management with more than 75% support.
“On behalf of SAG-AFTRA members, I am thrilled to welcome KCRW to our union family,” said SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris. “KCRW is a one-of-a-kind radio station that produces some of Los Angeles’ most dynamic and diverse programming, and we’re excited to make sure everyone’s voice is heard through the collective bargaining process.”
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The online vote was conducted according to an election agreement reached between SAG-AFTRA and KCRW through what both sides are calling “a mutually respectful and collaborative process.”
“From the beginning, “said KCRW president Jennifer Ferro, “KCRW has worked collaboratively both inside the organization and with our community. We look forward to creating an even better work environment with our employees and SAG-AFTRA in order to continue to serve the community with the highest quality programming.”
Said Avishay Artsy, a producer at the station: “We are excited to officially be recognized as a union at KCRW. Our staff has united around this organizing effort and we are looking forward to sitting down with management and negotiating a contract that will be fair for all. KCRW is a vital source of information, music and community, and we are thrilled to have an even better opportunity to create amazing content for our listeners.”
KCRW is the latest in a series of organizing victories in public media. In recent years, employees at KPCC Pasadena, KPBS San Diego, WBEZ Chicago, KUOW Seattle, Minnesota Public Radio, WBUR Boston and digital and per diem employees at New York Public Radio all have unionized with SAG-AFTRA. The union also represents public media professionals at National Public Radio and several other public radio and television stations.
SAG-AFTRA represents some 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other entertainment and media professionals.
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*Headline photo featured in the Deadline article by Mr, Robb