KPBS management cautioning staffers on SAG-AFTRA representation

By Dru Sefton

Management at KPBS in San Diego is discouraging staffers from unionizing with SAG-AFTRA, the San Diego Beat reports. The alt-weekly newspaper reported that KPBS employees petitioned management last month to recognize representation by the union.

In a statement, the union said an “overwhelming majority” of KPBS workers who produce, host, report and present local and national programming have signed a petition asking management to recognize their representation by SAG-AFTRA, which was formed by the 2012 merger of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

In a response last week, the newspaper reported, management told employees in a memo that said it “strongly believes that a union is not in the best interest of our employees or the future of KPBS.” It said the station has hired a labor negotiator and encouraged staffers to educate themselves about unions. “Just like a complicated news story,” the memo said, “we believe everyone will benefit from thorough education on both sides of the issue so that in the event of a vote, staff will have all the facts to make their own informed decision.”

Staffers at Southern California Public Radio joined the union in January, and Chicago Public Media employees are currently petitioning to unionize.

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