UOW's KUOW Ratifies First-Ever SAG-AFTRA Union Contract
|RADIO ONLINE | Wednesday, June 5, 2019|
SAG-AFTRA has announced that the bargaining unit at the University of Washington's KUOW-FM (94.9 Puget Sound Public Radio)/Seattle has ratified its first-ever union contract for what it calls "fair minimum salaries and working conditions for public radio professionals." SAG-AFTRA's Executive Committee and the Seattle Local Board also ratified the contract. The unit, which is composed of 43 reporters, producers, announcers, hosts, web editors, production engineers, community engagement employees and board operators, approved the agreement on Friday, with 94% voting in favor. Negotiations had commenced a year ago.
"We congratulate and welcome the KUOW employees, who have not only improved standards and achieved a voice at work for themselves, but set an example for their colleagues working in public media across the country," said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris.
"Our contract is an incredible foundation for the future of our newsroom. For a first contract, this is outstanding and will give many of our lowest-paid colleagues an immediate boost in salary along with guaranteed yearly increases," added senior reporter and bargaining committee member Ann Dornfeld. "We wanted more transparency and a voice into how our newsroom was run. We achieved that goal."
Other highlights of the contract include on-call pay, free public transportation for all union members, time-and-a-half for holidays worked plus an extra holiday credit, guaranteed breaks between shifts, security in the field, and the formation of a Labor/Management Committee to work through issues between bargaining years.
In addition to KUOW, SAG-AFTRA represents public media professionals at NPR, KNKX, KPCC, KPBS, KQED, Minnesota Public Radio, WBEZ, WBUR, WNYC and other stations.