Summer 2021

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34 SAG-AFTRA | Summer 2021 | Broadcast News T he Broadcast Steering Committee held its second meeting of the year virtually on June 12. The meeting began with a tribute to late Broadcast Steering Committee Chair Joe Krebs, with a video and presentations by members and union staff. Krebs received the SAG-AFTRA President's Award April 1, shortly before his death, and the statuette was presented to his family at the conclusion of the tribute. It was followed by a discussion on the future of radio work and digital content. In addition, committee members received training on conscious inclusion in the workplace. The Broadcast Steering Committee has committed to working on diversity and inclusion across newsrooms, and the training was an opportunity for member leaders to discuss their experiences and strategies to improve inclusion at work. The next meeting is scheduled for the fall. Broadcast Steering Committee Meeting Focuses on Inclusion SAG-AFTRA Takes On NYPR Over Union-Busting O n June 4, SAG-AFTRA filed a lawsuit in district court in Manhattan to compel New York Public Radio/WNYC to comply with the arbitration provisions of the collective bargaining agreement. Through its legal posturing, CEO and President Goli Sheikholeslami has sent a message loud and clear that NYPR has every intention of shifting from a decades-long productive relationship with labor to a strategy that can only be seen as union-busting. "Member listeners who have committed to donating to their station during these difficult economic times would be disappointed to see that the funds donated to this iconic station are being used to engage lawyers to fight the employees' union," said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris. "NYPR's pattern of behavior and waste of human and financial resources, especially after a painful layoff, is shocking and disappointing." New York Public Radio is the owner of WNYC, the Gothamist website and numerous radio stations. On May 23, SAG-AFTRA filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board against NYPR. It contained five allegations of violations of labor law, including a charge for firing a union steward for union activity. SAG-AFTRA filed this charge in response to a management- driven strategy to silence a thriving newsroom and undermine accountability and transparency by issuing discipline and threats against employees for asking questions and engaging in legally protected activity. The union also maintains that WNYC management maintained and enforced work rules designed for the purpose of curtailing accountability and transparency, and surveilled employees or created the perception of surveillance of employees in their communications with the union and one another. Given WNYC's egregious conduct, SAG-AFTRA is seeking an injunction from the NLRB to protect the integrity of the station and to ensure that employees can exercise their rights without the specter of retaliation. Most egregious to the union were the terminations of two respected journalists, including the SAG-AFTRA shop steward and an 18-year employee, for indefensible and unlawful reasons that violate the collective bargaining agreement and the National Labor Relations Act. GETTY IMAGES GETTY IMAGES

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