2012 PLATFORM – United for Community Radio

United for Community Radio

       KPFA and Pacifica are a priceless resource.
We have the opportunity to be a force for change –
by amplifying the voices of the millions whose needs and desires, opinions and culture are overlooked, marginalized or silenced by the mainstream media.

1.    A Community Resource – To reclaim the mission of Pacifica and KPFA as a commons, with broad and diverse participation, and not to be controlled by any particular group or party.

2.  Both Station and Network – To maintain the integrity and financial viability of  KPFA and the Pacifica network – the national office, all five stations, the 180 affiliates, and the Archives. To develop a financial recovery and sustainability plan for KPFA to ensure its continued survival.

3.  Democratically Governed–To support governing boards that are elected by proportional representation, and that collaborate with, ensure accountability, and exercise oversight of station management.

4.  Program Council – To reactivate the Program Council, including representatives from the listener community and staff (unpaid and paid), to evaluate current and proposed programs.

5.  A Voice for Progressive Social Movements –To advocate for news, public affairs, music, arts and cultural programming that incorporate the voices of people’s movements and communities – including struggles for protection of human and labor rights, civil liberties and the environment; for social equality, self-determination of peoples, and freedom from imperialist domination and war. To balance the often difficult news with programming that is uplifting and facilitates human connections. We envision a vital and imaginative radio station that resonates with those reached by our signal.

6.  Mutual Respect– To recognize and respect the essential roles of unpaid and paid staff and apprentices, volunteers, management, and listeners. To foster cooperation and equal access to resources and training within the station, including the right to union representation, thus empowering both paid and unpaid staff to better fulfill Pacifica’s mission and potential. When major issues relating to Pacifica and KPFA are reported on the air, on the website, or at KPFA events, it should be in a fair and accurate manner.

7.  Listener Input – To ensure that the listeners have opportunities to  provide input  to  the station through various forms of feedback, including two annual, bylaws-mandated  Local Station Board (LSB)-hosted Town Hall meetings, regularly scheduled listener call-in shows and surveys.

8.  Web Presence – To improve KPFA’s web presence, including searchable archives by show and by subject, with links to background information and related stories. To work to integrate video, transcripts, live streaming and social media. This will help us to reach current and potential communities of listeners with KPFA’s unique content.

~labor donated~

 Posted by at 3:38 pm  Add comments

“The Crisis Was Insolvency”

We Can All Save KPFA Together

Local KPFA Station Board Member, Akio TanakaWe Can All Save KPFA Together

by Akio Tanaka

8-22-11     The crisis that KPFA faced in the fall of 2010 was insolvency.

Between 2001 and 2006, there was a dramatic increase in listener support due to the expanding economy and interest in the Iraq-Afghan War. KPFA added many paid staff during this same period; however, between 2007 and 2010 listener support declined dramatically as the whole economy crashed.

Payments to Pacifica were reduced to reflect the decline in listener support and Pacifica had major layoffs, but KPFA management did not make similar cuts to salaries and benefits even as listener support declined between 2007 and 2010. It is understandable that the previous management would be reluctant to lay people off, but in 2008 the station went into deficit spending and was in danger of bankruptcy. So, finally the Pacifica Foundation, which is fiscally responsible for the network of five stations, stepped in and made cuts in staffing.

Instead of acknowledging that Pacifica had carried out the thankless but necessary task of cutting expenses, some of the paid staff affiliated with the Communication Workers of America (CWA) claimed that layoffs were not necessary and that there had been union busting on the part of Pacifica. They alarmed many paid staff by claiming there was a political hit list of people to be laid off. The ‘hit list’ was the union seniority list.

What Pacifica actually did was to offer voluntary severance to all employees. Seven people took the deal, and in the end, two people were laid off, Aimee Allison and Brian Edwards-Tiekert. Edwards-Tiekert had the option to exercise his seniority bumping rights.

The layoffs followed the union contract which says: “In cases where skill, ability, knowledge and job performance are all equal, or could be equal in the opinion of the Employer after reasonable orientation and training, seniority shall prevail”, but CWA claimed the layoffs violated the terms of the union contract and filed three grievances with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and asked for an arbiter to rule on reinstating Edwards-Tiekert and Allison to the Morning Show. These claims led many labor supporters to voice solidarity with the CWA.

Over the next several months, two anonymous websites, SaveKPFA and KPFAworker, waged a campaign to vilify Pacifica Executive Director, Arlene Engelhardt.

In February, Edwards-Tiekert exercised his bumping rights and returned as a P/T news reporter. In April, the NLRB issued an advice memo dismissing one of the three CWA grievances and CWA then withdrew the two remaining grievances. In July, the arbiter ruled against Allison’s reinstatement.

Pacifica was vindicated on all counts associated with or having to do with labor issues.

KPFA has a solid line-up of Al-Jazeera English at 6am, Democracy Now! at the prime commute time of 7am, and Morning Mix at 8am, hosted by both volunteers and staff who stepped up to help the station during these financially difficult times.

Adrienne Lauby – Live from the Progressive Festival, Fall 2011

Most importantly, the station is on the road back to financial stability.

However, the people who tried to vilify Arlene Engelhardt are now trying to recall Tracy Rosenberg from the local station board.

Rosenberg saw that KPFA was on a path to a fiscal train wreck and carried out her fiduciary duty as a member of the National Finance Committee in trying to save both KPFA and Pacifica from financial ruin. She also tried to help publicize the new Morning Mix show. Both actions served the interest of KPFA and the Foundation.

It is understandable that with the political division KPFA has experienced over the past several years that any layoff produces controversy, but we should all remember that the ideals and goals we share are far stronger than our differences. And the people need KPFA and Pacifica more than ever before.

Arlene Engelhardt and Tracy Rosenberg both helped save KPFA.

We can all save KPFA together by each of us making a generous donation and working together. Make a donation.  Become a new member.

 August 22, 2012  Posted by at 11:36 pm  Add comments